Helping Florida’s Wild Birds: Techno-Scooter Has Easy Ways to Lend a Hand!
With the many wild bird watching venues Florida has to offer its local residences –as well as its consistent vacationing visitors– it’s only a natural step towards the direction of being more involved in the health and welfare of our feathered friends. So Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor is here to share some convenient ways anyone can help from just about anywhere! With so many of us working long hours and trying to find ways to spend time with our families, not to mention the efforts in those mundane everyday chores we must all tackle, it’s often hard to squeeze in some time to enjoy our wild bird watching hobby. But, there are so many ways that we can lend a hand throughout the month while still being able to harness the rest of life’s responsibilities.
While the nature walks provided by our local parks like Brooker Creek are great, and the Boyd Hill Preserve educational resources are top-notch, we can’t always get out and enjoy them as much as we’d like. But there are ways that we can indulge our wild bird watching hobby and help Florida’s wild birds at the same time. With computers and websites and mobile devices at the ready, anyone with a basic knowledge of minor technological advances and a love of Florida’s wild birds can lend a hand from anywhere at any time while still tending to the myriad of life’s other priorities. Read below to find ways that you can enjoy your wild bird watching hobby and lend a hand in their health and welfare while at home or on the go!
Waite’s Guide to Birds of America’s (WGBA) “IBird”. For use on Apple products including phones, pads and readers, as well as on Android and Kindle devices, the WGBA Ibird app provides total information mobility for wild bird lovers. With features including bird song identifications and high-def photos to match each species entered, Ibird also offers an active community for wild bird hobbyists to enjoy shared information and the elated joy of that favorite wild bird moment just as it happens. Perfect at-hand fun!
EBird. For global involvement on a grand scale, try out “Ebird”. As a joint venture between Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology and The National Audubon Society, Ebird offers the benefit of hands-on involvement in providing critical and much needed information on the movements, activities and sightings of wild birds from all over the world. As stated on their Ebird page, Florida’s wild bird enthusiasts can record and keep track of the wild birds they see, explore maps and graphs, join the Ebird forums and community, and then share their wild bird sightings while contributing to science and wild bird conservancy. Great way to help out!
Merlin Bird ID. Also created by the great minds at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, the Merlin Bird ID app is available for use in Apple products now and will be available for us in Android products in Spring, 2014. With a few minor questions, like bird color and size, entered into the Merlin ports, this easy to use bird identification tool helps define the type of bird and its notable details in record time from anywhere you may desire the information. Its current library of 285 of the most common species of bird found in North America, with more coming soon, identifying the type of bird you’re curious about is just a few finger taps away! Awesome!
National Geographic Bird App. Considered by many, and touted on their website as, the “most comprehensive birding guide on the market available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch…” -and we think it just might be- the National Geographic Bird app is at the forefront of the nature-techno balance. Providing nearly 1,000 different species of bird in their app library, the National Geographic Bird app is a must have for the avid wild bird watcher. Available with 800 consistently updated maps as well as videos of bird songs and species’ calls… this app also touts interactive games and fun stuff that even teenagers would enjoy. For the family on the go who look forward to their wild bird sightings, this is an app to have!
But, for those, like poor Scooter, who suffer from techno-phobia (Scooter still uses a VCR… **sigh**), Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor carries a wide array of field guides and reading material such as Sibley’s Guide to Birds and the Peterson Field Guides to Birds – Eastern & Central. These are perfect for those moments when the best place for learning about wild birds is relaxing in your own Florida backyard habitat!
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