Friday, May 26, 2006

Armchair Birding - The Internet Bird Collection

If you're interested in seeing some awesome bird videos from all over the world, check out the Internet Bird Collection(IBC). The IBC is a free library of videos of birds from all over the world doing all sorts of crazy things. The videos are submitted by birders and videographers and include a huge number of the world's species. The quality of the videos is generally good and the download time is fast. I like to browse around the site and find videos of birds that I've read about or heard of in passing. It's a cool way to see the birds and see their real behaviors. Here are some of my favorites.

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock - Watch 2 males do their display on a lek in Peru

Booted Racket-Tail - This funky South American hummingbird looks like he's wearing white legwarmers and he has a neat racket-shaped tail.

Shoebill - This funky African heron relative is a show-stopper with it's HUGE bill. I also have an affinity to creatures that are the only member of their scientific family. In this case, the family is Baleanicipitidae (that's a mouthful).

Laysan Albatross - 2 birds doing their courtship display. This video gets a special nod because I know the guy who filmed it.

Manakins - All the manakins are cool. They have beautiful plumage and some of the best courtship displays in the world. I recommend Club-winged Manakin because it makes a sound by rubbing its wings together like a cricket. I also recommend Long-tailed Manakin for their cart wheels.

And finally, the Cuban Tody - a puffball of a bird if there ever was one.

So take some time to browse around the IBC. It's an easy way to kill a few hours, but learn a lot of neat birds along the way.

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