Classify birds acoustically with BirdNET-Pi
BirdNET-Pi is a real-time acoustic bird classification system designed for Raspberry Pi. It uses a USB sound card to pick up bird sounds, and classifies them locally using a pre-trained machine learning model. But the best bit is how the audio and visual data is shared around the world.
Developer Patrick McGuire knows of at least fourteen countries with live BirdNET-Pi installations, from Australia to Austria and from South Africa to Scotland.
What you need to build your own bird classifier
- Raspberry Pi 4 Model B or Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
- SD card with the 64-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye installed
- USB microphone or sound card
A comprehensive installation guide is available.
BirdNet-Pi installations around the world
Once you have everything set up, you need to join BirdWeather. It’s a “living library of bird vocalisations”, and lets you travel a map of the world looking and listening in to whatever species are in the area.
Simply scroll around the world map to see where BirdNET-Pi installations are live. Some setups only share acoustic data, which you can click to listen to, but lots also share live video.
We took the BirdWeather express to Laikipia in Kenya and saw another wingless species which looked a lot like a monkey. However, we do like monkeys, and we could also hear scores of birds calling out over the video’s audio.
As you can see from the pinned locations on the BirdWeather map below, most BirdNET-Pi installations are in North America and Europe. But we spotted one down in New Zealand, a few out in Japan, one in China, and handful in Africa and South America. It’s a truly live, global birdwatching experience.
PG in NYC
this is truly awesome! like a wildlife version of shazam…..makes me wonder if we will soon be able to predict storms, tornadoes and earthquakes by listening to our feathered friends’ frequency of chirping. :) a great a practical use for PIs
Works perfect! 👍 Plug & Play! 😁
Raspberry Pi Staff Ashley Whittaker — post author
I’ve not made an installation yet but the BirdWeather site does exactly what it says on the tin. Just drag the map around and listen to/watch wildlife live all over thew world!
Got an installation up and running on a Pi3b yesterday. Impressively easy to set up – I do need to get a better microphone.
We love Raspberry Pis!!!!! Thanks for the great post!
Has anyone had any luck joining BirdWeather recently? I’ve tried using multiple browsers and the dropdowns don’t function. In other words, I can see the maps, but I can’t see a link to join.
Thanks for putting this up!
I would love to see if it could identify the Australian Lyre Bird. I have heard a courting male fire off about 20 different “fake calls” of other species in about 15 minutes. Quite amazing to hear. We knew it was Lyre Bird because too many calls were coming from the one spot over the other side of the lake. When they both broke cover our suspicions were confirmed. One of the best 15minutes of fishing I have had. A fantastic project folks, well done.
Is there a 32bit version?
I run quite a few other things on my Pi and some may not run on the 64bit system.