October 26, 2020

The best tool for tracking birds

One of the biggest consequences of isolation has been an increased love of nature. For those who already love nature, they are missing it dearly. For those who have never realized how much they enjoyed nature, they have found out while isolating. Staying indoors for long periods of time is one sure way to value being outside again. While we have the opportunity to go for short walks in our local area, our nature options are limited. Until you can get back into the great outdoors there is one excellent way to witness a greater diversity of nature. Bird feeding.

While it might sound simple, by putting a bird feeder outside your window you will be delighted by the great variety of birds that visit your garden. While you will always get year-round birds that will start to treat your home as theirs, you will get a number of migratory birds as well. These migratory birds are a real delight as you never know what birds will arrive in your yard and even if you do, they always exceed your expectations when you finally get to see them.

If you are not someone who loves surprises there is a fantastic tool that will allow you to track migratory birds so that you can be in the right place at the right time to witness some stunning birds and start to satisfy that urge for nature that you have right now. BirdCast is a real-time mapping tool that allows you to track the location of birds, their direction of travel, and where they are forecast to go next.

The site is built using 23 years of radar observations, weather forecasts, and submissions from avid bird watchers. By utilizing both the live maps and the forecast tool you can start to get an idea of when to pay close attention to what is outside your window. The live map is an incredibly rich tool. The website receives over 100 million bird sightings every year meaning it is a very detailed resource to use on an ongoing basis. 

If you check the website and see that the first Wednesday to Friday of July is usually a great time to see some beautiful and rare migratory birds you can check the live tracker a few days and the night before and see where the birds are at that time. With the two tools, you can get a fantastic gauge on when the best birds are flying right by your town. 

The tool is also incredibly useful to understand biodiversity in regions. There are some birds that are so rare no one knows if they are still in existence. A tool like this can show some surprising sightings as instead of a couple of researchers watching for a species, there is an entire audience. 

If bird watching doesn’t sound like the adrenaline activity you are used to, you are right. It is a different type of hobby. One that rewards a different body of the mind and soul. Seeing birds enjoy the feed you layout will enrich your soul. 

Some migratory birds, like the hummingbird, make the same journey every year, following the same path, all alone. If they are a newborn bird they make the journey without the guidance of a parent. To prepare for this tough journey hummingbirds increase there weight by over 25%-40% so that they have the vital nourishment to make the entire journey. If you leave out a feeder they will be incredibly grateful to you. 

There is no better time to try something new than during isolation. Buy or build your own bird feeder and get tracking. You don’t know what you will spot until you get started.