Customer Support


    Krissie van den Heuvel - Wednesday 26 June 2024

    BirdWeather PUC: An interview with Tim Clark

    BirdWeather PUC: An Interview with Tim Clark

    We are proud to have added the BirdWeather PUC to our assortment. This device is an AI powered bioacoustics platform that simultaneously listens for birds, uploads detections in real-time and stores your data on the built-in microSD card.

    The PUC can be used as a backyard acoustic station, for research or used during a hike or ride. It continuously listens to it’s surroundings, records & identifies over 6000 global bird species.

    Besides the microphones, the PUC includes environmental sensors, including temperature, humidity, Pressure, Air quality, tVOC, CO2 and a spectral light sensor. These additional environmental data can be useful for research purposes.

    We’ve had the pleasure to talk with Tim Clark, the founder and CEO of BirdWeather about his PUC.


    Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

    I've always been a bit of a data nerd, constantly tinkering with things like weather stations and other gadgets. Throughout my career, I've held various jobs that all involved some form of data and technology. Eventually, I became deeply involved in cycling. In the 90s, I sold everything and got a job at an Olympic training center, focusing on data collection. Although I eventually left that job, my passion for cycling is still here. In the early 2000s, I worked for a company that made spa systems. During that time, I
    connected my own spa to the internet to run diagnostics, which is somewhat related to the PUC since both involve putting data online. In 2008, I took a job with Activision and got to work on Guitar Hero, where I gained valuable manufacturing experience. This experience has proven useful with the process of creating the BirdWeather PUC.


    How did you come up with the idea for the PUC?

    During the pandemic, like everyone else, we spent a lot of time at home. We live near the coast, which has a thriving bird population, and we enjoyed viewing and feeding the birds in our backyard. Around that time, the BirdNet app was released, sparking an interest in my son. He showed me the app, and we used it frequently to identify bird sounds. Occasionally, we heard an owl at night and thought it would be cool to have a device that could record these sounds. This idea led me to experiment with different devices, such as the Song Meter Micro and Audiomoth. We ran some scripts, uploaded data, and soon I started discussing our findings with the creators of BirdNet and experts from Cornell. This marked the beginning of the journey for the PUC. By July 2021, we began testing prototypes, and the rest is history.


    Have you recorded any unique species with the PUC personally?

    We've had a lot of fun recordings in the previous year with our PUC's. For example we've had a Bald Eagle in Roseburg oregon from our hotel balcony. In our own backyard, the PUC identified a Wild Turkey. We don't normally get them coastside, particularly in neigborhoods, so I thought it was just a misidentification, even though the it sounded right. But as this photo shows, it turned out to be very real! We named her Harriet.

    Another fun find in our own backyard was this osprey and a snow bunting, in California. And... we've had a Varied Thrush that blew in during a storm last year. 


    Do you have an estimate to how many PUC’s are live today?

    1100+ online per day
    Per week we are looking at much more.

    Click here to view live PUC stations. 


    There is a large community of BirdWeather. How has the user community contributed
    to the development and improvement of the PUC? Can you share any interesting
    feedback or use cases from users?

    I think the most important that we have heard back is that users have found a lot of joy in reconnecting with nature through the PUC. The community has been incredibly supportive, providing valuable feedback that has helped us refine and improve the device. A customer has told us a fun story about a friendly dispute between neighbors. One PUC owner recorded the sound of a Bald Eagle, but his neighbor was skeptical that a Bald Eagle would fly over their area. A few days later, the skeptical neighbor spotted a Bald Eagle flying overhead and had to admit that the PUC was right.


    Will there be bird species added to the database in the future?

    Stefan (the BirdNET creator) is continually working on model improvements - most of it comes down to getting sufficient data (which we’re now providing) in various locations. 


    More information about the BirdWeather PUC? Click here


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