Bill Oddie translates bird tweets into, er, tweets

Celebrity ornithologist Bill Oddie has joined forces with London Zoo to translate the morning tweets of tropical birds and post the results on Twitter.

Bird lovers following the hashtag #BirdsThatTweet will have seen postings such as, "I think they sound a little bit cross this morning! In the jungle birds keep in touch with each other purely by sound," and, "The Shama is quite vain and enjoys washing itself and can often be seen cleaning its feathers". They also had the chance to quiz Oddie for birdwatching tips.

"I jumped at the chance to take part in this activity," Oddie said.

"What better way to bring Twitter to life for the bird watching community than translating the tweets of birds, live on Twitter? It has been a fantastic day and I’ve had some interesting questions thrown at me."

Head bird-keeper Adrian Wells, who helped translate the tweets, said: "It was fascinating to watch Bill talk, translate and tweet what our birds were tweeting, plus it was a rare opportunity for people to hear what happens in the aviary before the zoo opens. Lots of our visitors wish they could converse with the animals, but Bill actually can and it was great to watch that play out over Twitter."

A dedicated site was set up to help birdwatchers and to provide information on how to get more involved with the pastime.

As well as dedicating his later years to the study of birds, Oddie has appeared in many TV shows, with the most memorable being Seventies sitcom and Pocket-lint fave The Goodies.