How times have changed in the world of bird watching. Over the past twenty-five years, it has evolved dramatically thanks to technology.
Twenty-five years ago binoculars, a map and perhaps a birding hotline were all the tools a birder would have. Internet connections 25 years ago were not terribly reliable, fast or as useful as what we have today. Moreover, most of us didn’t even have home computers, let alone access to the World Wide Web.
Today we have an endless amount of resources, right at our fingertips. The internet has become an incredible birding tool, with endless sites dedicated to the education of bird enthusiasts and environmental conservationists. Countless websites and blogs lend their technology to educating the general public about bird identification, migration patterns, nesting activities and so much more.
With the help of smartphones, internet connections and social media platforms the birding community is connected in a way most never thought to be possible. During trips into the field, birders are now able to access identification databases where and when a reliable connection is available, aiding them in more accurately logging rare bird sightings and sounds. The cameras built into our devices are so sophisticated, that even in the event of little or no network connection; we are now able to take professional-quality pictures and sound bites to reference when we return to our home base.
In addition to most of us now having access to high-quality cameras, the world of photography has changed birding even more. Not long ago, you needed a high-quality camera to get the pictures that an everyday iPhone can take now, not to mention the added expense of developing film. Digital photography has changed the world of photography – photo sharing websites give everyone access to thousands of excellent birding pictures, as well as a platform for us to share our field findings, connecting birders around the world.
Technology continues to help the online community of birders around the world grow. It connects us and aids us in sharing birding hotspots, taking part in online chats and discussions, participating in bird counts and sharing our experiences and pictures with each other.
Here are a few of our favorite online resources…let us know your favorites in the comments below:
Bird Studies Canada
Cornell Lab of Ornithology