Last year, as pandemic lockdown restrictions hit the US, new bird enthusiasts flocked to the free Merlin Bird ID app.
The app, which comes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, previously offered ways for users to identify a mystery bird near them through descriptions or a photo.
Earlier this summer, it received an even cooler feature: the ability to recognize a bird based on a short audio clip of its song, chirp, or call.
Starting in March 2020, the Merlin team saw an uptick in the number of app downloads, a trend that’s persisted. “Not only were we getting more downloads, but the number of active users has continued to grow,” says Drew Weber, the project coordinator for Merlin. This spring, 1.2 million people (and counting) were on Merlin. “People are downloading it, getting into birds, and they’re still into birds this year, even though the realities of lockdown and such are changing,” he says. “It seems like it piqued their interest, and kept their interest.”
From golden eagles to peregrine falcons, this rehabilitation and education center is a haven for birds of prey.
Sponsored by Visit Lake Norman
In 1975, an injured broad-winged hawk found its way to Dr. Richard Brown, an ornithologist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Along with several biology students, Brown helped the bird back to health and released it into the wild—it would be the first of many rehabilitations.
Over the years that followed, more and more birds were brought into the makeshift clinic in the basement of the university’s biology building.
In 1980, Brown and Deb Sue Griffin, one of his students, decided to make things more official. Together they founded Carolina Raptor Center, which has admitted some 20,000 birds over the last four decades.
The life’s work of both a lover and observer of birds and nature.
John James Audubon’s Birds of America is a portal into
the natural world. Printed between 1827 and 1838, it contains
435 life-sized watercolours of North American birds, all made from
hand-engraved plates, and is considered to be the archetype of wildlife
illustration. Nearly 200 years later, the Audubon prints are coming to
life once again, thanks to our vibrant digital library. Roam around
below and enjoy one of the most treasured pieces of Audubon’s grand and
wild legacy. Each print is also available as a free high-resolution