Surviving Self-Isolation for Birders

Self-Isolating? Fed up with daytime TV? Finished all of your sudoku puzzles? Done the ironing? Not getting your bird fix?
If so, peruse the links below that have been selected because they are entertaining and interesting and are BIRDING-RELATED!

The following links will open in a new tab or page and so can be closed without losing access to this page. The date the link was added to this page is shown in square brackets.

The Etymology of Ornithology: What’s In a (Bird) Name?

This is a collection of links to discussions of bird names. There is a mx of European and American sources here but, since all bird names are fascinating, they are all of interest.

Drawing Birds

Why not use your time at home to learn about drawing birds? Not only could this be an interesting creative endeavour but it is also a useful skill in making field notes. Warning – some of these sites are heavy with ads and/or also require a ‘skip ad’ step. The “models” used in these drawings are also not necessarily British birds (or even birds that actually exist!).

Feeder Cams

These are links to webcams monitoring feeders situated in parks, wildlife reserves and people’s gardens. Watch birds LIVE from your computer. In some cases, the feed will start automatically: in others, you need to click the “start” arrow. Sometimes you will be watching a few feeders swinging gently in the wind but you can also get very good views of good birds.

Jokes About Birds and Birding

Some of these might be considered a bit risqué so be prepared. Also, there is quite a bit of overlap between the sites and the quality of the jokes is often abyssmal. Enjoy anyway!

Bird ID Quizzes

Poetry About Birds

Not all of equal quality, I must say, but a calming influence if you have a poetic streak. There is some repetition between sites, as you might expect.

New Website – Plan Your European Bird Trips When COVID-19 Is Over

The health crisis caused by the Coronavirus forces most of us to stay at home as much as possible. In these difficult times, for the good of the community, it is better to stay at home. But you can keep on birding. On the new website www.birdingplaces.eu you can discover hundreds of bird-watching areas all over Europe online. All in one place. With next to every birdingspot exactly the information you need for some fine hours of birding.

You can also place your own favourite bird areas on the map. Just click on “Add a birdingplace” and follow the instructions. It’s easy and fun to do with time on your hands when you have to stay at home in these times of self-isolation.

www.Birdingplaces.eu  is made by and for birders and non-commercial. It’s an easy-to-use platform that connects bird watchers from all over Europe, allowing you to discover prime locations to observe birds in the UK and the rest of Europe. When you log in, you can also leave tips and comments, check out the “Birdingplaces League” or use the “Find a Bird”-tool. It’s all free!

PS: To celebrate the launch of Birdingplaces.eu you now have a chance on winning a topmodel Leica binoculars and telescope when you add birdingspots to the website. See www.birdingplaces.eu/go-in-and-win for more information.

Members’ Recommendations

The following sites have been recommended by SOS members or other birders.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Birding

Dear Shropshire birders,
Corona has changed our lives and we want to study its influence on birdwatching activities in different countries. Please help us and answer a few simple questions. The questionnaire is in seven different languages and takes 2 (two) minutes. The study is run by Piotr Tryjanowski (University of Poznan) and Christoph Randler (University of Tuebingen). To respond to the questionnaire, follow this link.

Got anything to add to this page to keep your fellow birders entertained during self-isolation? Send you suggestions to me at arnfield.2@osu.edu.

Return here often – this page will be updated frequently while the COVID-19 outbreak is at its peak.

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Page updated: 02/05/2020