This is a spectacled eider video.
These birds live in Siberia and Alaska.
This 30 March 2017 video from Denmark is about the grey heron bringing food to its babies.
24 June 2017
Big Brother is BIRD-Watching YOU!
By Iván Ramírez
Nature is but a click away with these amazing live bird cams run by BirdLife’s partners across Europe & Central Asia. Storks, eagles, kestrels – you name it! Our Head of Conservation, Iván Ramírez tells us more…
Young birders in the making
Last weekend, I took my little kids for a walk in a nearby forest. We were on a mission: we had to identify at least 10 different species of animals and 5 different plants, and I had an enticing prize to offer: an early swim in the river. As we left the car and started walking – binoculars, guides and very sleepy eyes included – we talked about everything we were seeing around us. Or I should say, rather, I (tried) to answer every single question they had…about everything. ‘What is that tree?’ ‘Can we climb it?’ ‘What is that bird?’ ‘Can I lift that stone?’ ‘What is that bug?’ ‘What does it eat?’… If you have kids, you know what it is like…let’s just say that by the twenty-fifth question your brain is completely fried and starts sending contradictory messages…asking yourself why on earth you decided to go for this walk…while loving every single minute of it.
Back to nature
Being in the great outdoors – getting dirty, cold and sweaty…going wild – is one of our ancestral rights. Connecting to our common ground is as important as trying to understand it. And so, while I answered their questions, I also put many more to them, and to myself too. In just an hour, we identified our 10 animals and 5 plants, and many more, and they were exhausted. We went to the river and enjoyed the cold mountain stream, but they kept asking for more. Since it was too hot to walk again, I grabbed my smartphone and searched the internet for some of the live bird cams that I knew of. Their reaction amazed me: glued to the screen, open happy eyes full of excitement.
Technology in flight
We all know how technology is changing the way we see, study and enjoy nature. We are now able to deploy miniaturised data-loggers that tell us where some of the rarest birds travel to, like the amazing journey of the Sociable lapwing. We can identify deforestation or droughts using satellites, and we have even experienced the flight ‘on-board’ an Atlantic gannet. We live in an the age of selfies and Instagram stories, at a time where anyone can fly a drone with their own mobile phone…and we naturalists are no different than others. Technology is here, let’s use it wisely. As an example, back in 2014, the U.S. National Park Service banned recreational drones in all of its national parks, largely to protect wildlife. But drones are also being used to monitor breeding birds…you see?
Live cams: the missing link?
So let’s go back to our mountain river, the smartphone and just how engaging a live cam can be. Right now, when millennials are increasingly disconnected from non-connected environments, technology and remote cameras could be our missing link.
Have you ever tried to bring a Black vulture to your kids’ school? Have you tried to show them how fascinating a seabird can be at night? It is all in your hands now, and we are bringing you here the latest, most updated list of our BirdLife partners’ live cameras for you to pick and enjoy.
These cameras are not fulfilling George Orwell’s 1984 allegory, but using technology for a truly positive and inspirational purpose. They have been set up so we can share our admiration of nature, and to allow those who cannot travel the chance to explore, to feel, to respect.
So take a tour, watch the live feeds and admire nature from your home screen. But please remember, don’t let Big Brother win – as soon as you can, grab your walking shoes and, literally, go wild! Remember that wildness is what challenges us, so no need to climb peaks or sky-dive, just look to your nearby garden, forest…and remember there is a refreshing swim in a mountain river waiting for you.
Iván Ramírez – Head of Conservation, BirdLife Europe & Central Asia
Our Partners’ Bird Cams – Live from the Nest!
*Note: Many of these live ‘nest’ cams are seasonal, operating until the young chicks have fledged.
The following list is the most up-to-date list of our partners’ cameras currently in operation, but live broadcasts will end as the season draws to a close.
So hurry up and get watching or you’ll have to wait until next year!
DOF – Denmark
EOS – Estonia
NABU – Germany
Common kestrel (Hamburg)
Common kestrel (Berlin)
GONHS – Gibraltar
Pallid swifts (operated by the Dept. of Environment, Gibraltar)
MME – Hungary
Fuglavernd – Iceland
SPNI – Israel
LOB – Latvia
LOD – Lithuania
VBN – Netherlands
NOF – Norway (in partnership with Zooom)
SPEA – Portugal
Shag (Berlengas Islands)
Cory’s shearwater (Corvo Island)
SEO/BirdLife – Spain
Blue-winged Amazon: A new parrot species from the Yucatán Peninsula
The newly identified Blue-winged Amazon parrot has a loud, short call and evolved from the White-fronted parrot quite recently, about 120,000 years ago
June 27, 2017
In 2014, during a visit to a remote part of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, ornithologist Dr. Miguel A. Gómez Garza came across parrots with a completely different colour pattern from other known species.
A study published today in the open-access journal PeerJ names these birds as a new species based on its distinctive shape, colour pattern, call and behaviour. The paper compares and contrasts the distinguishing features of this species with many other parrots.
The new parrot (Amazona gomezgarzai), referred to as the Blue-winged Amazon because of its primarily blue covert feathers, is characterized by its unique green crown that contrast to blue in other Amazon parrots. This new parrot occupies a similar area in the Yucatán Peninsula as the Yucatán Amazon (A. xantholora) and the White-fronted Amazon (A. albifrons nana) but it does not hybridize with them.
A very distinctive feature of the new taxon is its call, which is loud, sharp, short, repetitive and monotonous; one particular vocalization is more reminiscent of an Accipiter than of any known parrot. The duration of syllables is much longer than in other Amazon parrot species. In flight, the call is a loud, short, sharp and repetitive yak-yak-yak. While perched, the call is mellow and prolonged.
This species lives in small flocks of less than 12 individuals. Pairs and their offspring have a tendency to remain together and are discernible in groups. Like all members of the genus Amazona, this parrot is a herbivore. Its diet consists of seeds, fruits, flowers and leaves obtained in the tree canopy.
The analysis of mitochondrial DNA genes indicates that the blue-winged Amazon has emerged quite recently, or about 120,000 years ago, from within the A. albifrons population. During this time, the taxon differentiated sufficiently to be clearly recognizable as a new species.
There is no conservation program currently in effect to preserve this parrot but its small range and rarity should make its conservation a priority.
This video from Washington state in the USA says about itself:
Bonaparte’s Gull feeding
One of about 400 Bonaparte’s in outer Quartermaster Harbor, Vashon Island. Most were roosting on the water while a few were feeding. This bird has completed the transition from winter to breeding plumage, but many were still in transition. Taken on 1 May 2011.
From Club300 in Denmark, 26 June 2017:
Breaking breeding news: Bonaparte’s gull is breeding in Iceland, new breeding bird for the western Palearctic!
Read more, in Danish, here.
This video from British Columbia in Canada says about itself:
7 June 2017
A baby hawk is being raised by an eagle. There are already 3 eaglets in the nest, appearing huge when compared to their little sibling, probably brought into the nest as a food source and then adopted and raised – comments by eagle biologist David Hancock at the nest.