Monday, December 28, 2009

BBC Wildlife Finder

Even though North American birders can't watch the videos on BBC's Wildlife Finder, they can enjoy the photos and soundfiles culled from 30 years of natural history content. For instance, take a peek at European Robin (Erithacus rubecula). You'll find a nice action photo, a 2:30-minute recording of its spring song, a breakdown of its scientific classification, a range map with the species' preferred habitats, a visual depiction of its conservation status, links to other resources, and a bit of text from a Wikipedia entry.

Aside from animals, Wildlife Finder offers comprehensive info about habitats in which animals live and splits them into terrestrial, freshwater and marine. Within the terrestrial habitats, the broadleaf forest page includes two sound recordings, lots of videos that we Yanks can't watch, a habitat map and then links galore to amphibians, birds, insects, mammals and reptiles that live in the habitat.

The site also showcases adaptations and groups them into behavioural patterns (There's an extra u in that word!), communication and senses, development, ecosystem role, feeding habits, locomotion, morphology, predation, reproduction and social behaviour. While North Americans miss out on the videos, we still can enjoy the Wikipedia text and the links to species that share a particular adaptation.

One more section, Ecozones, divides the Earth into Oceania, Nearctic, Neotropical, Afrotropics, Palearctic, Indo-Malay, Australasia and Antarctica.

What an incredible treasure trove! If only the video player didn't say "Not available in your area."

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