Vogelbescherming Nederland

Improving birdlife with recognition technology

How can we retract more insightful data about the health of birdlife in Dutch gardens using the community of birdwatchers and bird counters?

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For Vogelbescherming, we are responsible for the corporate website, as well as different themed websites (i.e. tuinvogeltelling.nl) and apps. Throughout the year we run a variety of campaigns to boost traffic in which we urge our users to count birds and report on the species they encounter.

Vogelbescherming bird recognition tool


We've learned that easy & fun do the heavy lifting when it comes to mobilizing and expanding the community of bird watchers and counters. That is why our tech-minded team put AWS to good use. To them, AWS is like a candy store. It provides us with more than 175 products and services that fuel zillions of solutions everywhere.

AWS Rekognition

In 2016 Amazon Web Services launched powerful recognition software: AWS Rekognition; today, all kinks are out. We consider the technology proven and are ready to put it into practice for Vogelbescherming.The idea surfaced to ask birdwatchers to upload photos from their mobile phones.

We would then run them through a Rekognition-powered engine that would provide immediate feedback on the probable type of bird.The concept unlocks a fun and friendly user experience. Just as important: it gives us more detailed information on the status of birdlife in the Netherlands.

Partner up for speed

Together we achieve more. Instead of developing our own model to build and feed a machine learning algorithm, we looked for partners that share our cause and might already have an algo in place. For photos, we found Waarnemingen.nl a third party that was eager to collaborate. The two of us are now able to run vast amounts of visual media through our AWS-supported recognition engine, automatically tagging all visual information it contains. The type of bird, time of day, location, surrounding elements; you name it, we can collect the data for multipurpose usage.

Another nifty detail

Our traffic-generating websites and apps process millions of visitors. There is no way to predict when they get active. To ensure peak performance and cut costs at the same time, we innovated a serverless solution that is able to scale automatically - without the use of costly server capacity. This saves Vogelbescherming tens of thousands of euros, each year.


  1. 88% engagement growth
  2. 200k bird countings in one hour
  3. 0% Downtime
  4. 0 Servers used

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