discussion / Acoustics  / 17 October 2023

Owl call detection software

I’m curious about AI software for analyzing nocturnal bird calls, particularly for detecting owl species. I currently use Nighthawk for help with processing my ARU audio files, but it only detects passerines and few other bird families — no owls. Are there other options out there that I should explore?

Hi Whitney! You might try checking out if Arbimon would be helpful for you? You can check out how to get started in our support docs here: https://support.rfcx.org/ 

Also, depending on what geographic region you're working in and what focal species you're using, BirdNet may also be useful?


Hello Whitney,

Arbimon, as Carly mentioned can be useful, as can the Cluster Analysis tool of Kaleidoscope Pro software. I would also recommend having a look at the new Learning Detector Tool of Raven Pro (link describing it is included below), which taps into the BirdNet database. Assuming you work in parts of the world where most (vocal) bird species are included (e.g. North America, Europe), then you can select the Learning Detector tool to scan for calls of the selected bird species with a threshold that you decide. 

All the best,



Colleagues of mine at the BTO have recently extended the functionality of the Acoustic Pipeline recently (which previously focused on the sound identification of European bats, small mammals and bush-crickets) to also include birds - to support batch processing of recordings. See link below.

This includes a specific classifier for nocturnal breeding birds in Europe - including European owls (also classifiers for nocturnal flight calls for migrant birds - NOCMIG etc.

For people that are happy to share individual clips that are of interest to us, the new bird sound identification functionality is free to use. 

I wasn't sure whether you were based in Europe, but if you are, this may be worth trying out.