Last Wednesday I introduced a new series on The Thrifty Magpies Nest called Wildlife Wednesday and talked about how easy it is to watch wildlife and that it’s an activity that anyone can do for free.
I love this time of year because it is nest season. All the birds are frantically making nests, sitting on eggs and some have already got little beaks to feed. Many nests are too far away to be able to see much going and poking around a nest can disturb our feathered friends so it can be hard to get a good look at what actually goes on in a nest.
Let me introduce you to my favourite live streaming websites and web cam videos that allow anyone who can get on the net a fantastic ‘bird’s eye view’ of nest activity and feeding frenzies.
The Dyfi Osprey Project
The Dyfi Osprey Project is run by The Wildlife Trust and is located on the Cors Dyfi reserve in Montgomeryshire, Wales and is the summer home to nesting ospreys. The reserve and hides are open to the public and offer a fantastic opportunity to get up close to the fantastic birds as they raise their chicks in front of a stunning backdrop of wetland, estuary and distant Snowdonia. D and I visited the ospreys last summer; it was an amazing experience to see the magnificent birds tending to their chicks in such gorgeous countryside.
Ospreys are rare birds with only 200-250 pairs breeding in the UK. They spend their winters in the warmer climate of Africa so they can only be seen in the UK between late March and September. But you don’t need to travel all way to Wales to see these fantastic birds; you can watch them from the comfort of your office chair or sofa!
You can connect to live streaming of the nest right here, but if you want to just see the best bits, check out these awesome recording of their recent activity.
Osprey chicks hatching
Osprey chicks being fed
To watch more recorded videos of the birds visit The Dyfi Osprey Project website. I really recommend following The Dyfi Osprey Project on Facebook, too, for amazing facts, recent footage and wonderful stories.
Wildlife Gadget Man
I have only recently discovered Wildlife Gadget Man aka Jason Alexander and his fab website where he hosts live streams of carious nests and feeding stations of birds and videos of mammals recorded by motion sensor cameras.
If you have a nest box and have seen a bluetit or great tit popping in and out of it I bet your are desperate to know what goes on in there. Well, watch this video and I assure you it will be something along these lines.
Blue tit chicks being fed
How amazing are those parent birds feeding all those hungry mouths. Notice how brightly coloured and wide the beaks of the chicks are. This is known as their ‘gape’. It is the perfect ‘stuff-food-in-this-hole-please-mum’ sign.
Now play the video of these gorgeous fuzzy headed robin chicks as they are fed. Notice how camouflaged the chicks are while they sleep in their next then suddenly their hug yellow gape opens as their mother arrives at the nest to fed them. Even more interesting; watch how the chick positions its bum over the edge of the nest to poop and mother collects the perfect little sack to carry away and dispose of in order to keep the nest clean. How clever is that!
Robin chicks being fed
He also has two live streams; my favourite one being of a blackbird sat on her eggs, You can watch it here.
My third and final recommendation I actually spotted on Little Outdoor Kylie’s blog on Monday. Some Norwegian TV station came up with the absolutely fantastic idea of building a miniature café for real birds and even squirrels. Check out the live stream here and watch as birds visit the café live!
For recorded footage of café customers and of the other ingenious set ups including a blue tit nest box decorated like a front room complete with portraits, side board and books click here. Absolutely bloody clever that is!