Update 2021: We wrote this post back in March 2020 when we all just dipped our toes into the idea of life under the Covid-19 pandemic. In the meantime, thousands of people have made myriad creative adjustments to lead a socially detached lifestyle. During this time, birds have brought comfort and connection to both veteran bird watchers and new practitioners. As we step over the one-year limit and focus on resuming a more normal life, we hope you find these resources as relevant and useful now as you did a year ago.
This fight against the coronavirus is serious and sobering. If we do it together, the only certainty seems to be that we will all be home for the next few weeks and months. At least we still have nature as a place of refuge and relaxation.
This is not meant to diminish or deny what is happening in any way – everyone spends every moment making sure loved ones are healthy and friends and co-workers are safe. But during this time, if you can, let birds calm you down. When you’re ready for a moment of beauty, or when a child needs something new to focus on, bring the innate joy and hope of birds into your life.
Are you a teacher preparing for a new type of distance learning? We will send you ideas. An adult with children on an unexpected “vacation”? Let them play games and learn. An occasional bird watcher with time on hand – or a die-hard traveler who is in his home country? We can bring birds and birdsong into your home – or you can explore the remotest areas of the world in sound and images. Read on for all of our suggestions and do things a little #BetterWithBirds:
Watch a nest-tied barred owl cook for you and hear their buddy answer on one of our favorite bird cameras. A ruffed grouse points and poses for the camera at a snow covered Ontario FeederWatch camera.
Live cams: bring the birds to you
Stream one of our bird cameras for peace, beauty and intimacy with wild creatures. Many of our users have a camera streaming all day just to hear the soothing outside sounds.
Or watch a rotating group of birds on our feeder cams:
Backyards: Still the best places to go bird watching
One of the joys of bird watching has always been that you can do it anywhere – including right at home. Take a quiet stroll or enjoy a moment of reflection by your window: birds will be with you. Now is a good time to deepen your knowledge and appreciation with resources like these:
Virtual bird watching: around the world with videos, quizzes and sounds
Things to do: teachers and families, we have you
We can help teachers and parents make the move to online and home teaching with free resources and great ideas to keep students interested. In fact, our K-12 education group created a special weekly email with science and nature related ideas and activities for the duration. Click the link to sign up for the email and get new ideas every Friday.
Our Bird Academy project features a catalog of free educational games – amazing explorations of bird songs, stunning artwork by bird families, the magic of feathers, and much more. There’s even a video game exploring evolution and the hypnotic BeastBox that lets you use natural sounds to create your own hip-hop sound loops.
The Bird Academy offers a range of in-depth courses, from better bird watching tips to nature journaling to a comprehensive ornithology course. You can try any of these courses with a free lesson.