Birdwatching During the Corona Virus

Birdwatching Solo
Photo Credit: John Chao

If you’re sheltering at home, or at the very least practicing social distancing – and especially if you live in an urban environment – getting outside to see spring migration may seem like a challenge at best. Migration is starting, and is it safe or even wise to go birding? It’s critical that you ensure you and those around you are safe and you are following the rules. The obvious best choice is to stay at home and check out what is going on in your backyard and at your feeders. It might even give you a chance to practice some photography at the feeders – maybe  set up a perch where the birds can fly to  before and after feeding, and keep the camera focused there.  A little patience, and time, and you will be rewarded with some nice photos.


If you don’t have a backyard feeder to monitor, there are plenty of other stay-at-home birding options.  Audubon has an online series “I Saw a Bird” where you can hear experts and celebrities talk about the birds they have seen during quarantine and answer questions on a variety of topics in an hour long format.  If more exotic viewing is what you are looking for, check out Panama Canopy Lodge’s streaming feeder cam where you may see Motmots, manakins, tanagers, and a host of other Central American birds coming into feed.  And don’t miss watching your favorite birds as they nest and raise families – we have a list of active nest cams just below in this newsletter.
If you can’t stay inside a moment longer, and are willing to make a few changes to the way you go birding, then this article from Audubon will give you some guidelines how to safely bird.  Birdwatching is complicated around the world right now due to lockdowns, and birders are handling it differently from place to place. Check out this article on birding during the corona virus from Birding Beijing, and see how birders in China are coping.


Whatever you choose to do, be safe and respectful of others– humans and birds!  Happy spring birding!