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Bird-watching soars amid COVID-19 as Americans head outdoors

Downloads of two of the most popular bird identification apps have spiked.
Credit: AP
In this photo taken April 27, 2020, provided by Michael Kopack III, amateur bird watcher Michael Kopack Jr. holds his camera in the background while two nuthatches land nearby in Angier, N Kopack has gotten deeply involved in bird-watching during the coronavirus pandemic and put up a birdhouse for the first time this spring. (Michael Kopack III via AP)

Netflix? That's old news. More people are turning their gaze outside and taking up amateur bird-watching as the pandemic drags on. Interest in birding has soared in recent weeks as bored Americans notice a fascinating world just outside their door. 

Downloads of two of the most popular bird identification apps have spiked, and preliminary numbers show sales of things like binoculars, bird feeders and birdseed have jumped even as sales of other nonessential consumer goods are plummeting. 

The trend coincides with the peak migratory season and nesting season, giving newfound birders a front-row seat to some of nature's biggest shows. 

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