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Here's How To Identify Sounds You Hear In Nature

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Thanks to smartphones, you rarely have to strain anymore to remember the name of a song. Start up a phone app. Hold your device by the radio or a restaurant speaker. And the app will usually recognize the song.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now NPR News can offer a similar service for sounds from nature. Think about the sounds in your backyard.

(SOUNDBITE OF CRICKETS CHIRPING)

MONTAGNE: Crickets, I think.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOGS HOWLING)

INSKEEP: Oh, some kind of dog - maybe coyotes.

MONTAGNE: Well, how about this one?

(SOUNDBITE OF ANIMAL MOANING)

INSKEEP: That's some backyard you've got there, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Whatever you hear, we can help you identify it.

INSKEEP: Next time you're in your backyard, take out your smartphone or some other recording device, and capture the sound of the animals.

MONTAGNE: Send the file to nprcrowdsource@npr.org, and use the subject line, Decoding Nature. That's the name of our new series with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

INSKEEP: Scientists will identify the exact species of animal you are hearing. You need to include your full name and where you live.

MONTAGNE: And to learn more about the project, follow the hash tag, #decodenature on Twitter. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.