It's easy to look down upon Google Street View Birding. "It's for lazy people," they say. "It's not real birding if you're just using a computer," they whine. "Get a goddamn life," they snort.
This installment brings me to Florida. I was in the Sunshine State over the holidays and was reminded what a fantastic place it is to bird. There are birds in every pond. There are birds at every feeder. There are birds covering the beaches. I'd venture to guess that there are more birds per square inch in Florida than anywhere else in the states.
So it stands to reason that there would be birds in Google Street View. I found some downtime and took a look.
For most of Street View's history, the images were all captured from cars. This made Street View Birding quite the challenge because, like, how often to birds fly right next to cars, right? Telephone wires and bridges were really the only places to look. Recently, more mapping is being done by folks on foot. This was clearly a boon for SV Birding on Midway Atoll, still the best vicarious internet birding experience available.
And it's also come to Florida. Some folks have taken it upon themselves to strap on the ol' backpack and walk nearly the entire walkable coast of the state. It was clearly a Herculean task, but it resulted in some better images of birds that I had found anywhere else.
Google Street View, I love you.