Birds are warm-blooded creatures with a constant body temperature and a mode of movement called flight. The adaptation to flight in the process of evolution is reflected in the entire organization of these feathered creatures. Thanks to flight, the flight is carried out by means of feathers, which are pressed into the air when flying. Vision, the special pride of these feathered birds. Each bird’s eye acts independently. Thanks to the structure of the retina, the bird can see up to five times farther than a human. Vision is fundamental to survival. All of this, as well as the concept of bird embryology, their morphology, physiology, embryology and much more, is studied by the science of “Ornithology.”
Bernard Shaw once said that “now that we have learned to fly through the air like birds, to swim under water like fish, we lack only one thing: to learn to live on land like men.” Watching birds is a long process, requiring attention, perseverance, curiosity and statistician skills. The rest will come in the form of products of scientific progress and a variety of computer gadgets. In the late eighties the term “Orintologist,” a person who observes birds, first came into use. It is a complex process that has brought together many very different people who enjoy studying bird life. On one side are professional ornithologists, whose knowledge is based on basic scientific methods, and on the other side are amateurs, people who expand their knowledge or those who have turned this process into a hobby with an entertainment or social purpose. Some of these people just want to see the maximum number of bird species in their lifetime. These are the tweeters. There are those who are interested in details of particular species. Where they nest, what they eat, how they incubate their eggs, how they winter, the peculiarities of the species. Recently there has even been a “Birdwatching” hobby, through which you can take pictures or just “contemplate” beautiful birds. Naturally, the photos and discussion are immediately posted on the website, Not Seriously? Today there are over forty-five million people in the United States who are into birdwatching. That’s more than twenty percent of the population.
Birds are no different from any other species that inhabit our planet. In any population there is a certain cycle, with alternating periods. So what methods are used to observe birds? Let’s go from simple to complex. Watching birds can be as simple as sitting and watching. You can go further – use binoculars, telescopes, view photos and videos on webcams 24 hours a day online. Classic orienteers have everything by science. To general observations necessarily add an auditory component, thanks to which many bird species are identified. And of course, the good old method of bird ringing. As a standard, during the nesting of wild birds they selectively put and press an aluminum ring with a corresponding number on the foot. Information about the bird caught in any part of the world with a ring on its leg is required to transmit it to the appropriate ringing center, where it is determined when and where the ring was installed. In this way the migration routes of the birds are determined: flight patterns, time of molting or wintering addresses.
Various binoculars of day and night vision, with and without fixed focus, sights and rangefinders, monoculars and night vision goggles. The equipment options are vast and the market is saturated, but you have to choose something. High-resolution digital photo and video cameras make it possible to take beautiful color pictures. However, if you do not know how to use a good camera, there is no guarantee that you will get good pictures. This is exactly the case when you can take a great picture with an ordinary soapbox if you have the skill and photography skills. A night vision monocular can be mounted on a tripod and provides a good picture. Night vision goggles are already in their fourth generation. For a complete night birdwatching experience, choosing a second-generation gadget that matches price and quality is sufficient. Subsequent, third and fourth generation, are used mainly for professional activities by law enforcement, special forces, law enforcement officers and make their price very high in the market. Infrared night vision binoculars are great for observing birdlife at night. The advantage of these binoculars is that they amplify the infrared light from the stars and the moon through the lens, and once you enhance the image, you will see a clear picture in green tones. Third-generation night vision binoculars already have infrared illuminators that, when activated, allow you to observe in absolute darkness. However, the choice rests on the price of this device. Cheap devices of the first generation are much inferior to devices of the second generation, where due to the use of a microchannel plate the signal is repeatedly amplified, which improves the quality of the observed picture. Here the choice is obvious, and the price compared to the advanced gadgets of new generations will please you. As well as everything else. Good quality of observation of birds during day and night is received from night vision sight. Daytime optics gives excellent picture, and for night work most night vision devices use four generations of electron-optical converters, which project and magnify the image in the viewfinder very qualitatively. However, the most successful angle of observation of the life of the birds, it seems to us, is to start the day together with the family of the eagle, looking at it through a camera installed in its nest.
Watching feathered birds is fascinating and mesmerizing. Their life flies by against a brightly colored seasonal backdrop. It is varied and variegated. There are more questions than answers. Do a bird’s eyes reflect its character? Why when one looks into the light yellow eyes of a hawk there appears a nasty chill and incomprehensible excitement connected with danger, while the deep, rich green eyes of a wise cormorant are empty and colorlessly silent? Do birds possess full color vision? If not, then why are many of them “dressed” in bright, one might note, defiantly attractive colors? We have considered only some of the features of birds related to their life. But even this is enough to understand that the life of birds is diverse, rich and worth knowing more about them and being closer to them.