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.
- Blackcap, redstart, yellowhammer: what’s in a bird’s name? (The Guardian) [18 Apr]
- Origin of Bird Names [18 Apr]
- Origins of Common Bird Names [18 Apr]
- Learn About the People Certain Birds Are Named After (Audubon) [18 Apr]
- For the Birds Radio Program: John Ciardi and the etymology of bird names (script) [18 Apr]
- Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names by James A Jobling. An academic tome but a tour de force. It is a 432 page book and, hence, takes awhile to load. [18 Apr]
- Why do British Birds have Funny Names? [18 Apr]
- Bird Watching Magazine [18 Apr]
- Etymology of Some Bird Names (from Maine, USA) [18 Apr]
- Scientific bird names explained
- Caithness Field Club Bulletin. A regional perspective. [18 Apr]
- Bird Names [18 Apr]
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!).
- John Muir Laws [6 Apr]
- How to draw a bird (step by step) – UTube video (no sound track) [6 Apr]
- Yolandie Horak [6 Apr]
- Eugenie Hauss [6 Apr]
- Monika Kazagrobelna [6 Apr]
- Artists’ Network [6 Apr]
- Creative Bloq [6 Apr]
- How to Draw a Bird [6 Apr]
- Easy Drawing Tips [6 Apr]
- YeDraw (instructions for different groups of birds) [6 Apr]
- How to Draw a Sparrow [6 Apr]
- Another UTube Video [6 Apr]
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.
- Wildlife Kate (Staffordshire) [20 Mar]
- Private garden (Wigan) [20 Mar]
- Cumbria Wildlife Trust (Kendal) [20 Mar]
- Vinehouse Farm (Lincolnshire) [20 Mar]
- Birds of Poole Harbour (Dorset) [20 Mar]
- Cley Spy (Norfolk) [20 Mar]
- …and here are a few from abroad (there are some spectacular birds at some of these feeders but don’t forget to allow for time zone differences)…
- Akron, Ohio, USA [21 Mar]
- Birmingham, Alabama, USA [21 Mar]
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Ithaca, New York, USA) [21 Mar]
- Sabal Palm Sanctuary (Brownsville, Texas, USA) [21 Mar]
- Tucson Audubon Society (Tucson, Arizona, USA) [21 Mar]
- Recke, Germany [21 Mar]
- Hoogezand, Netherlands [21 Mar]
- Urdaibai Nature Reserve (Gautegiz Arteaga, Biscay, Spain) [21 Mar]
- Ontario, Canada [21 Mar]
- Canopy Lodge (Panama) [21 Mar]
- Casa Bonita (Bonaire, Caribbean)
- There are other webcams available on the net. Do an online search for ‘Bird Feeder Cams’ to locate these.
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 Humour (Fat Birder) [21 Mar]
- Bird Jokes (Thayer Birding Software) [21 Mar]
- Hungarian Birdwatching (in English!) [21 Mar]
- BirdForum [21 Mar]
- Birding Humor [21 Mar]
Bird ID Quizzes
- Nord University. A quiz from Norway but you can select the country from which the quiz items are drawn. There are also different levels of quizzing. You will need to register to use this site. You can Include vocalisations. [25 Mar]
- Computerbirding. Covers European birds, with different levels of difficulty available. [25 Mar]
- British Garden Birds. You can customised the length and nature of the quix, including songs if you wish. [25 Mar]
- Birdingquiz. Again you can customise your quiz’s scope geographically or multiple choice.advanced. [25 Mar]
- BirdPhotos.com. You can select region and quiz type. [25 Mar]
- eBird. Select by region and date. Includes bird sounds. You will need to register with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology before you can use this site. [25 Mar]
- British Bird Pictures Identification Quiz. [25 Mar]
- British Birds Quiz. Aimed at children. [25 Mar]
- Sporkle British Garden Birds Quiz. [25 Mar]
- Wild Bird UK Trivia & Quizzes. An assortment of different quizzes. [25 Mar]
- BBC3 Slow Radio. Bird song quiz. [25 Mar]
- Radio Times ‘Name That Tune’. A short birdsong quiz. [25 Mar]
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.
- Interesting Literature [27 Mar]
- Discover Poetry [27 Mar]
- Simon Armitage & Tim Dee’s Top 10 Bird Poems [27 Mar]
- Poetry in Nature [27 Mar]
- Poem Hunter (This site has an audio channel for the poems although the delivery is a bit mechanical!) [27 Mar]
- Poets.org [27 Mar]
- Hello Poetry (Annoying pop-up ads.) [27 Mar]
- 10,000 Birds [27 Mar]
- Black Cat Poems [27 Mar]
- Writers Write [27 Mar]
- Short Poems About Birds [27 Mar]
- Poetry International [27 Mar]
- DuckBirds Blog [27 Mar]
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.
The following sites have been recommended by SOS members or other birders.
- Wadertales [6 Apr]
- United Kingdom Ospreys [6 Apr]
- Bird Song Opera [6 Apr]
- Hummingbird pool party [30 Apr] (Starts with ad but can be skipped in 5 sec.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return here often – this page will be updated frequently while the COVID-19 outbreak is at its peak.
Page updated: 02/05/2020