I have never thought that off-site birding (others call it remote birding) could be so interesting. I have been playing with some of the most spectacular streaming web cameras available on the net. I don’t know too many of them and have not much time to watch the live “shows” endlessly but I love to return to a few of them time by time.
One of the most exciting webcams is from Ecuador. The camera is located at a hummingbird feeder (drinker) at the Buenaventura Reserve where sometimes, especially before sunset, 20-30 birds are drinking together or flying around. It is a great fun but almost impossible to identify the many different hummingbird species via this webcam despite the relatively good image quality it provides. With some knowledge and a field guide to the birds of Ecuador identification is essential for the species. Green Thorntails, White-necked Jacobins, Black-throated Mangos and many other gorgeous-looking species are returning to the feeder. I have never seen the feeder empty. What makes this streaming interesting that it is not switched off for the night when some animals like the Coati is visiting the feeder. Due to the extreme weather conditions loss of power happens many times but when power is on again the streaming is continued.
Another interesting cam is located on the other side of South America, in the Brazlian Atlantic rainforest. Here again a hummingbird feeder provides a few interesting birds. There is a much less traffic at this feeder but worth to check as the species are way different.
And of course the African streaming… Well this is something I really love. Identification of birds by their calls are really exciting. As streaming live all day many animals occur at the waterholes. Africam offers four sites to check though I haven’t been able to open the Flamingo Island’s webcam so far. The most exciting camera is at the Nkorho Pan (just near the beautiful Nkorho Bush Lodge). The stereo sound makes listening really enjoyable. Many birds are calling during the day and even during the early night hours African Scops Owls and Fiery-necked Nightjars are calling continuously. At the time of writing some Trumpeter Hornbills called loudly. I use the Africam streaming as a background noise in my office. I just feel like sitting in the balcony of that luxurious lodge. Elephant Plains also offers nice view to a waterhole and having good sound quality. The Beta Tembe Elephant Park offers acceptable image quality but no sound.
I haven’t browsed the net for more birding related streaming webcams but I would love to learn about more. If you have anything in your bookmarks please share it with us.