Owls of delight! How online birdwatching became my lockdown treat | Emma Beddington


I have become obsessed with bird matters, especially the antics of Rocky, Barry and co in New York City

Birdwatching has been a Covid success story: sales of feeders have soared and birdwatchers broke a world record for the most birds observed during Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Global Big Day” in May.

I like watching Small Brown Bird One and Small Brown Bird Two argue over mealworms in my yard until Large Grey Rat appears to settle the squabble, but I am too lazy to make a real hobby of it: it is cold out there. Instead, I watch birdwatchers on Twitter, which brings its own satisfaction. There is a photographer who waits patiently, hand full of seed outstretched, capturing birds when they alight, and I love following my local bird-rescue lady transforming her charges from bedraggled, gloomy clumps of feather to heart-gladdening swooshes of wildness. She also keeps me informed about the shameful, often-unpunished incidents of raptor poisoning and trapping that blight the UK’s lucrative grouse moors.

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