Use Sound to Identify Birds Species with a Raspberry Pi - BirdNET-Pi

Hey all here is the BirdNet Raspberry Pi Project!

Over 6000 Unique Bird Calls can be Recognised and it only takes 1 Terminal Command to set up :heart_eyes: ah AI, you’ve done it again. This is a fully fletched Bird Call AI System that runs completely on a Raspberry Pi Single Board Computer.

This system can run 24/7 non-stop. It records, tracks, and displays each recognised bird call. You can also access the data and the audio live stream through any locally connected computer/device. It even saves the best recordings so you can listen to them later.

So if you want to participate in some citizen science then this is the project for you. We are always keen to answer questions and queries so if you want to build one yourself and want to ask questions please do so.


Hi Tim and the Core Team!
I’m organizing a private workshop for students at University College London to assemble BirdNET-Pi devices and your materials has been incredibly helpful. I would like ask permission to use your youtube video thumbnail of the bird on top of the RPi to advertise our event. This would only be published through the university so would reach a small number of people. What do you think? Cheers, Santiago


Hey mate,
We are happy to help and you have full permission to use the image. Thanks for asking :slight_smile: hopefully our Australian Rainbow Lorikeet serves you well. Definitely snap some photos at the event, I would absolutely love to be a fly on the wall during. Fingers are crossed for Peregrine Falcons to circle overhead at the end of your workshop.
Kind regards, Tim


Hi Tim.
I would like to place the microphone high up a tree and the RPi in a shed directly below the tree.

Do you think thtat’s feasible? What options would I have for the connection between the microphone and the RPi?


Hey John,

Excellent idea, the ideas of running long USB cables or Long Ethernet Cables (I’d recommend using that) to transmit the sound is definitely being thrown around at the Github discussion page for BirdNET-Pi. That and figuring out the best possible Microphone for the application are being explored. I’ll link those discussions here - This and This.

Patrick McGuire also has a great Microphone installation that you can see in this thread if you scroll down. There’s also other set up to glean ideas from there too :slight_smile:

Running a long cable also has the advantage of lowering the total noise being captured.

So definitely feasible and worth a little dive into to figure out the best solution for your situation.
Kind regards and happy birding,


Thanks Tim great article and video. Have my system running now and on birdweather catching some tropical australians. This project really combines 3 of my favourite things audio , birds and overcomplicating simple things like listening. I have a live sound background and am keen to try out different mics etc . Cheers and thanks again for highlighting a great project so well.


Thanks for those links, Tim. Looks like you can go expensive with the mic but a low cost one will do the job for id’ing a bird.

I see there’s a strong recommendation to use a lead b/w the USB mic and the RPi to avoid interefrence from the RPi.

I think I’ll start with the mic in the shed and see how that goes.

Can you tell me if an RPi Zero will do the job?


Heyya mate,
This is definitely a task for more powerful Raspberry Pis like the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B or Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. There was a discussion about running the system on Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W which you can find here however I was not successful in doing so.
Hopefull that helps :slight_smile:


Sucess! :grin:
Took three goes at installing – takes a loooong time. Used my Pi4 8Gb, not the Zero.

Identified my first species this morning – a pied butcher bird from a recording.

Now to get some live birds.

This is exciting.

Thanks, Tim.


So pleased with this application. Would be great if it could run on a Zero – no need for mains power.

Going bush tomorrow for a few days. Will capture some bush birds.

Birdweather is fantastic.

Very excited.



Great. Thanks a lot for sharing such a resourceful content.


Hey Tim.
Just been running Birdnet this morning at a bush location. Fantastic.

Identified some species we would have struggled with and probably not even noticed. Little Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted (edited) Lorikeet, Musk Lorikeet and Swift Parrot. The Swift Parrot is an important “sighting”. Comparing the sonographs with examples from e-bird validates them.

And a Brushturkey inside our cabin! Hilarious to listen to.



Utterly Exceptional :heart_eyes:

Callout to all:

Anyone else installed Birdnet?

Hey John, what microphone do you use, or, would you recommend if different?


Hi Graham.

I’m lucky to have access to a Tascam linear PCM recorder. A great tool. Can record to SD card which makes it ideal for field recordings, or can feed into the USB port of a computer, which is how I’m using it.

Very sensitive.


I’m not skilled at mics. I did some reading and it seems a fairly basic mic will do the job. Omnidirectional is better than directional. I would just try out a mic by recording outdoors and see if it captures the bird calls that I can hear.

A phone will do the job to record the sounds but you then need to play them into a mic to feed Birdnet.

The mic Tim used seems to work.


Me! Here is my site: BirdWeather.

I had a pi4b lying around and bought a cheap microphone from Amazon

Took a few minutes to install the package and it worked straight away.

I’m most impressed!


Hello John and welcome to the forum.
So you’ve gone the whole hog and put your site online. Well done. I don’t think I’m up to that just now.

I’ve been using BirdnetPi for only a few days now. It’s exciting but I think it needs to be used with care. Have you had it make false species identifications?

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There were one or two species that I didn’t expect. One was Rainbow Lorikeet which we don’t see much in Canberra, if at all.

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