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.

Product video by Core Electronics

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

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.

BirdNET screen shot with a squirrel
When we stopped by Brownsville in Maine, US, we caught a particularly squirrely species of bird

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.

BirdNET-Pi spots a monkey
Is it wrong that we enjoy using BirdWeather to spot things that AREN’T birds?

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.

BirdWeather map of the world


PG in NYC avatar

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

Marcello avatar

Works perfect! 👍 Plug & Play! 😁

Ashley Whittaker avatar

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!

Bruce Taylor avatar

Got an installation up and running on a Pi3b yesterday. Impressively easy to set up – I do need to get a better microphone.

Patrick McGuire avatar

We love Raspberry Pis!!!!! Thanks for the great post!

Birdman666 avatar

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!

Rob WARD avatar

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.

Martin avatar

Is there a 32bit version?
I run quite a few other things on my Pi and some may not run on the 64bit system.

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