Birds on YouTube! Rare Sightings, Conservation Stories and ... Moonwalking?

| 11/24/2008 5:15:50 PM

Just because the weather's getting chilly and some species are headed south for the winter doesn't mean your bird watching has to go on ice. Actually, you may be in for your easiest, coziest bird watching yet. The American Bird Conservancy has launched an online channel of bird videos called the Bird News Network (BNN). You can find regular BNN reports, as well as footage of rare and endangered species such as the Cerulean Warbler and the Royal Cinclodes. Their latest video includes interviews with conservationists working to save the Thick-billed Parrot, whose dwindling population of fewer than 2,000 individuals is found only in Mexico.

I shared this find with a good friend who also happens to be an ornithologist, and she offered a terrific recommendation of her own. While anyone with an Internet connection and a passion for birds can find footage of a blue jay or a hummingbird, only the healthily obsessed know where you can find a moonwalking manakin. This little guy moves so fast that researcher Kim Bostwick had to use a special video camera that captures up to 1,000 frames per second just to see his dance. You can read all about it in Jungle Dancers: Kim Bostwick and Manakin Birds.

P.S. Many of you are probably aware that winter can actually be a great time for real-world bird watching. Check out these tips for winter bird watching, plus find out where you can sign up for this year's Christmas Bird Count (begins Dec. 14).



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