Monday, November 3, 2008

Help for the Birder on the Internet

By John and Jody Williams

One of the best places to get started collecting birding information on the internet is at www.nhaudubon.org .

On this site you will find a list of opportunities. When you open this page, you will find this list: Birding Information; Research; Environmental Policy Issues; Nature and Conservation Information; Programs and Field Trips; Centers, Sanctuaries and Chapters; and Join Us.

Birding Information tells about birding ethics, weekly rare bird alerts, the New Hampshire Bird List Serve. This site has information about birding opportunities in New Hampshire, including sanctuary locations (in some cases with maps), and weekly rare bird alerts.The Bird List Serve: This option under the “birding information” rubric is a special service for New Hampshire birders, an exchange of sightings that is ongoing. This is provided by the University of New Hampshire. You may want to enroll in this free program by using the bird list serve option on the nhaudubon site if you are an active birder. You need to consider whether or not you want up to 100 messages a week concerning the location of sightings of birds around the state. It is possible to get a daily mail digest of all the postings.


New Hampshire Birding Information is essentially a “Where to find birds in New Hampshire”, including the possibility of downloading a 400+ page breeding bird atlas). There is also information on the backyard winter bird survey, New Hampshire bird records, and last, but not least, links to other internet sites.
The other items on this page are self-explanatory.

Let us surf over to www.pwrc.usgs.gov . This is the U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Site. On this site there is a great deal of wildlife and nature information, including bird information. There are various identification quizzes that may or may not work, depending on the state of the new server, and various compilations of past counts and also huge amounts of information on other natural concerns, such as biodiversity, if you go to the bottom of the page and hit “our partners”.

For a national overview, and some fun and games, go to www.virtualbirder.com . There is a fee for some games, but if you check out “birding break”, you can take a virtual walk through any one of several real habitats: the Ding Darling preserve on the west coast of Florida, or the Mount Auburn Cemetery, for example, and try to identify the birds shown. Also available on this site are some good photo guides of waterfowl and raptors and links to the rare bird alerts for every state in the union.

If this isn’t enough for the interested surfer, just search Google using “bird information” and you will come up with thousands of sites. Some are in foreign lands, some are in foreign languages, and some have a specific focus, but they are all about birds.

John and Jody Williams live in Rumney, NH and are active members of the Quincy Bog. This article is reprinted from "Bog Notes", the newsletter of the Quincy Bog

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