We’ve got birds on our brains.
There is something about birds – their shyness, their freedom, their colors and their seasonal appearances in our lives – they seem almost magical.
It is spring and the birds are on the move. ASE subscriber Frannie B. suggested that I follow @Ostdroeel on Instagram. I returned the favor by suggesting @Audubon to her to see our feathered friends.
Ostdrossel is an amateur birdwatcher in Michigan who posts amazing close ups. She is followed by 15,000 people.
@Audubonsociety posts on Instagram make me feel like I am looking each bird in the eye.
There are some outstanding apps which open the world of birds to all of us. Here are some great ones.
A new feature, Bird ID, takes whatever you observe about a bird and suggests matches. You can record your bird sightings right on the app.
eBird is an online gift from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to people who love birds. It is a crowd-sourced compilation of bird sightings from everyone who contributes – amateurs and professionals. It is a good way to find out which birds are being seen in your area in real time. This free treasure trove of bird information is informing scientific research. You can download this bird watching guide to your phone and search for birds by identifying characteristics from color to size and location of their habitat. It has illustrations and photographs of each bird to make identification easy.
Merlin is another gift from The Cornell Lab. It is a free app to help people identify the birds they see. Birders can either answer five questions and Merlin will offer a list of birds which might match the entries – OR – you can take a photo of a bird, send it to Merlin and get an identification for the bird you photographed. Merlin draws on all the photos collected in eBird.
Birders can record a bird song and submit it to this app to get three possible birds which might have done the singing.
BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide is a free app created to include ‘citizen scientists’. It includes maps of areas near you with ‘hot spots’ where you are most likely to see specific species of birds. There are ‘add-ons’ for a subscription, but the basic, free app is a good place to start to plan local birding adventures.
Want to peek at some birds in the wild – real time? Check out these live Audubon birdcams from Maine to San Francisco. Link to live Audubon birdcams. The ultimate reality TV.
Header image: Pinterest