Answers to your frequently asked questions.
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How Haikubox works
How does Haikubox use sound to identify birds?
Haikubox uses a proprietary neural network, (a specific kind of machine learning or artificial intelligence) called BirdNet for Haikubox to identify birds. It’s pretty cool science - thousands of correctly labeled bird sounds make up training dataset which is used to teach a computer to recognize individual bird calls and songs. With enough examples, the computer gets very good at identifying new sounds it hasn’t heard before. This training method is a lot like teaching a toddler the meaning of the word “dog.” It starts with lots of examples and caregiver guidance (“That’s a dog. What a nice dog!”) followed by the child trying out the word when encountering new animals (“Dog?” “No honey, that’s a cat.” vs. “Dog?” “Yes! What a beautiful dog!”).
Can I get a notification when an interesting bird is detected?
Yes! You can get a smartphone notification for any species you find interesting when the bird is detected with medium confidence and had not been recently heard. Plus there are “New Bird Alerts” when any new bird is nearby, including migrating birds. New Bird Alerts are triggered when there are five detections of the same bird on one day, and there have been fewer than five detections on each of the previous four days. The reason for this algorithm is to capture species that might be moving through your area -- you can get an alert when birds like warblers migrate through each year. The requirement to have five detections in a day is to reduce alerts when there might be a false detection (which typically only has one or two in a day). You may get an alert for the same species up to six times per month. Set up alerts using the Haikubox mobile app.
How can I see which birds my Haikubox is identifying?
Download and sign into the Haikubox smartphone app or sign into the listen website to see and hear your birds.
Can one account (email address) own more than one Haikubox?
Yes, and it is easy to toggle between your Haikuboxes on the Listen website or smartphone app. Once you connect your second (or third, or fourth!) Haikubox, a dropdown will appear on the site so you can switch between the boxes and monitor all of your birds.
Can I share my Haikubox with my spouse or partner?
Each Haikubox can only have one owner who has the ability to change security settings and get notifications. This is determined during the setup process with the Haikubox Connect app. Any number of other Listen site/app account holders can quickly view what your Haikubox is identifying by bookmarking the Haikubox. Go to the map, zoom in on the Haikubox and click on it. Once it loads, click the pink tab icon to add the bookmark dropdown. You also can share your bird feed (recently identified birds) with anyone by generating a unique website under Settings. Click the box to share your Haikubox with friends, and then copy and share the link created.
Are all of the bird identifications correct?
Not yet, but you can help make it better. The neural net (BirdNet for Haikubox) can be fooled by some non-bird sounds, trickster birds (Blue Jays are known to mimic hawks and Northern Mockingbirds are master imitators), and similar sounding chirps, calls, and tinks. Each identified bird includes a high, medium or low confidence level which indicates how certain it is of the species prediction. You can help make the Haikubox more accurate by labeling both correct and incorrect identifications. You also can filter your view to hide less confident predictions and any individual species.
My Haikubox shows incorrect identifications and I've labeled them as wrong. Why do they continue to show up?
The Haikubox neural net can be fooled by some non-bird sounds (e.g., a siren misidentified as an Eastern Screech-Owl), trickster birds (e.g., Blue Jays mimicking hawks), and similar sounding chirps, calls, and tinks. When Haikubox owners label these incorrect identifications they provide us with information used to train newer neural nets, but net development can be a slow, deliberate process. Your labels DO NOT immediately impact the net or what you see in the bird feed. To hide any annoying identifications, we recommend filtering the view to see only higher confidence predictions (use the Medium or High settings) and hide any individual species by sliding the “Show” button, found at the top of each bird card, to the left.
Birds are missing, how can I see them?
You may be able to see the birds by changing the filter to show ‘L’ow confidence detections, especially if the bird’s song or call was not very loud. Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org you still think a species is missing — we may be able to tweak your settings so it appears. This is especially true if you live on the edge of a bird’s range. It will be particularly helpful to confirm that the bird is vocalizing (songs and/or calls), whether you think it is being misidentified as a different bird, or whether its song/call appears in the background of a different bird recording. If possible, please send us one or more recordings of the bird to help with troubleshooting.
Do I need to be logged into the smartphone app or website for my Haikubox to work?
No. Your Haikubox will record bird songs and identify birds 24/7. The app and website are ways for you to see the identified birds.
Is the box continuously listening?
Your Haikubox is always ready to identify birds. It records and presents three-second sound samples on the app and website which are also saved in its cloud-based database.
Can I use Haikubox to stream audio into my home?
No, your Haikubox is always listening for birdsong, but it does not stream audio. Instead, it makes a three-second recording which it sends to the website and app for you to hear and see.
Can I download my bird identification data?
Yes, Haikubox owners can download a CSV file with summary data or individual bird identification data. Log into the Haikubox listen site, go to the All page and look for the blue “Download CSV” button on the right. It is not possible to download data using the app.
Can I download my bird recordings?
Yes! As a Haikubox owner, you can save favorite and then download individual recordings as .wav files. Add a recording to your Favorites by clicking on the star icon. It will then appear on the Favorites page (star icon at the top left of the page) where you can listen to it and see the spectrogram, and download it.
What is a Haikubox’s listening range?
It depends on several things, including how loud the bird sings and its pitch, and environmental factors such as background noise and even relative humidity. Some species can be heard over great distances (Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese, for example) while others must be much closer to be heard (such as hummingbirds).
What can I do if my WiFi is weak and my Haikubox loses connection?
Your Haikubox should automatically reconnect when it drops from WiFi. If it drops frequently, consider installing a WiFi extender or mesh WiFi system. You can try different Haikubox locations or orientations and see whether the signal improved on the app/website. Note that the signal strength indicator only updates every few minutes on the app/website.
Does the system record everything?
Will Haikubox work everywhere in the world?
Not yet. Haikubox currently covers the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and European countries and we are testing Haikuboxes in other locations including Australia, Mexico and Central/South America.
What happens if I move?
You will need to go through the connection process using the Haikubox Connect smartphone app. This will connect your box back to WiFi and find your location so it can identify birds in your new area appropriately.
I’d like to set up my Haikubox in the woods. Is a solar powered version available?
No. Your Haikubox requires too much power to continuously monitor and record audio. Your Haikubox also requires a way to share data, and a remote location would require cellphone or satellite service, making the box much more expensive to purchase and operate.
Can I leave my Haikubox outside through a cold winter or hot summer?
Yes, your Haikubox can withstand a temperature range of approximately -40 to 80 degrees C (-40 to 175 degrees F).
Does the "listen" site work on all internet browsers?
The website works best using Chrome, Firefox or Safari; other browsers may not be compatible with all of the listen site’s features.
Can I view and listen to past days' recordings?
Yes, Haikubox owners can use the calendar feature, found on the Recent page, next to the time filter (2 ‘H’ours, 6H, etc.) to see previously identified birds, listen to their recordings, and view the spectrograms.
How did you set the price for Haikubox?
Each Haikubox was designed and is hand-built and tested in our Sarasota, FL office, using high-quality but expensive parts. And because each box listens for birds around the clock, there are some significant cloud computing and storage costs. The cost of parts, labor and data all figure into the pricing.
How does the "membership" work?
Because of the high cost of cloud computing, a paid Membership (subscription) is required to access everything your Haikubox has to offer. This Membership may be prepaid or paid-as-you-go. A free tier is available (Basic Membership) with limited functionality. See this comparison to see the differences between a paid and free subscription.
Installing Your Haikubox
What will I need to install my Haikubox?
You will need to download the free Haikubox Connect app to a mobile device, ensure that Bluetooth is turned on for that device, and know the name and password for your home's Wifi. It helps to create an account using the free Haikubox app or website (listen.haikubox.com) before starting, since you will need to verify the email address prior to starting the installation.
Where should I install my Haikubox?
Your Haikubox should be hung up outdoors but should be protected from rising or puddling water. Pick a location with strong WiFi and away from distracting sounds (e.g., ticking clocks, air conditioning units).
I’d like to hang my Haikubox in a tree. Can I use an extension cord?
We do not recommend using an extension cord with your Haikubox. It may be dangerous and may diminish your Haikubox’s performance since it may weaken the WiFi signal and cause noise on your box, making it difficult to hear birdsong.
Do I need a smartphone for my Haikubox to work?
You will need the Haikubox Connect smartphone app to link your Haikubox to your home’s WiFi. Once set up, you can use the website to view and listen to your birds, or use the regular Haikubox smartphone app.
Why do lights change/flash during my Haikubox set-up?
The lights change as the box boots, connects to your WiFi, and goes through the set-up process. Note that not all versions of Haikubox have a visible light.
Must the Haikubox Connect smartphone app be open with Bluetooth turned on for the Haikubox to work?
No. The Haikubox Connect app and your smartphone’s Bluetooth are only needed to link your Haikubox to your WiFi network. Once your Haikubox is connected, you may wish to delete the Haikubox Connect app and turn off your phone’s Bluetooth. If you move the Haikubox to a new WiFi network, you will need the Haikubox Connect app to reconnect your Haikubox.
How can I switch my Haikubox to a different Wifi router or extender?
Unplug the Haikubox and then replug it back in once you have the Haikubox Connect app open. The Bluetooth from the box will broadcast for one minute, during which time you should be able to reconnect it differently.
Can I make my recordings private?
Absolutely. Once you set up your box, there are settings which allow you to customize your privacy settings, including making all recordings private, hiding your location on the map and/or not sharing data with the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics for research purposes .
Warranty and Terms & Conditions
What is the warranty on my Haikubox?
Your Haikubox comes with a limited warranty for one-year from the original purchase date. Your Haikubox will be replaced if found to have failed due to faulty material or workmanship while in normal use. Haikubox’s sole obligation under this warranty is to replace, or at Haikubox’s discretion, to repair, free of charge, all defective parts. Proof of purchase is required. Warranty is not valid if damage is caused by the user.
What happens if my Haikubox stops working before the end of my five-year membership is over?
Once the warranty period is over, for $99 (including shipping) we will either repair or replace the hardware and transfer the membership to the new Haikubox.
What are the terms and conditions for Haikubox?
Please read the terms and conditions for details.