Merlin, the Lab of O’s smartphone app, recently got an Elf Owl’s sincerest form 
of endorsement.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton might have called that July night in Big Bend as black as 
the back of a Common Blackhawk (and verifiably, too, since a pair were nesting 
in the particular campground).   Driving away at the end of my night of owling, 
at least two Elfs set up a commotion in the brush close by as a shape 
resembling a Great Horned Owl’s sailed through my headlights.

Replaying Merlin’s Elf Owl to confirm the ID, I got an immediate answer from a 
rustling in the bushes scarcely an arm’s length away!  Score one for Merlin as 
implemented on the iPhone.

John L. Cisne, Professor Emeritus
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
Office Hours: Catch-as-Catch-Can or by arrangement
Phone: [Please contact by e-mail instead]


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