Identify the nature around you

Spring has sprung with summer not far behind, and that means many of us will be getting a whole lot closer to nature.

As PC Mike Wendland reports, having the right app on your smartphone or tablet can help you learn more about things like insects, birds, and other animals.

Insect Identification instantly identifies any insect from photo or camera. Information is drawn from a high quality database maintained by scientists and collaborators around the world. Users can identify insects anywhere, anytime even without access to the Internet or data network. The app isfor iOS.

Birds are all around us and the Merlin Bird ID app can help users identify what they are. Answer a handful of questions or upload a photo. Then, the app returns a list of the birds that best match, allowing users to get info about the bird. Developed by the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the app contains more than 3,000 of the most common bird species. It is free for iOS and Android.

INaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 400,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature when you document what you’ve seen.  iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. The app is free for iOS and Android.

About the Author:

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.