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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Tap into the Magic of Merlin


Merlin Falcon

Not the Merlin of King Arthur legends, but rather the free Merlin Bird ID app from the Cornell School of Ornithology. Yes: BIRDS!

In our crazy-paced, far-too-angry world, there’s a great calm to becoming quiet and watching and listening for birds. I discovered this magic a few weeks ago when I spoke in Ohio and stayed with a dear friend in Cincinnati. Living in Southern California I had forgotten the summer magic of immense oaks, maples, elms, and chestnuts. I had forgotten the incredible array of bird songs that often came sight unseen from the thick green branches.

Opening the Merlin app and selecting sound recording, I discovered the music of the tufted titmouse, chimney swift, cedar waxwing, and the Carolina wren. I already could identify the mourning dove, the house sparrow, the robin, the downy woodpecker, and the song sparrow. But I had forgotten the brilliant flash of the cardinal and how perky were robins with their red breasts.

Merlin App Download Page

Thankfully, I did not need Merlin to identify the tiny hummingbird nest in our staghorn fern. The construction of these tiny nests defies an architect. What a joy to tiptoe out each day and watch an egg, no bigger than a pea, expand, break and then slowly over time, Anna’s hummingbird literally outgrew the nest and zoomed off to a new life.


Bird songs. Bird colors. Summer nests. I think this avian life offers small respites that can refresh and renew the soul.

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