WHAT IS BIRDING?
Birding or bird watching is exactly what it sounds like, the act of identifying birds. The activity of identifying a bird is accomplished through sight, sound, knowing common habitats, photography and a really good field guide! Most birders started out identifying birds in their yard. As they became familiar with the birds in their yard, they looked for other birds in area parks and waterways.
Birder. The acceptable term used to describe the person who seriously pursues the hobby or sport of birding. May be professional or amateur.
Birding. A sport and/or hobby in which individuals enjoy the challenge of bird study, listing, or other general activities involving bird life.
Bird-watcher. A rather ambiguous term used both to describe the person who watches birds for any reason at all, and, more recently, to refer to a person who watches girls. Used mostly in fun. Should not be used to refer to the serious birder. The word “BIRD-WATCHING” is in the same category, of course.
—Birding, Volume 1, No.2
Twitching is a British term used to mean “the pursuit of a previously-located rare bird.” In North America it is more often called “chasing“
BIRDING IS A PERPETUAL TREASURE HUNT!
With more than 800 species in the United States and Canada and over 10,000 world-wide, don’t be surprised if you want to see more than what your local area has to offer! Many birders keep “life lists” that is, a list of all of the species they have seen in their life, but may also keep local, and state lists too.
IS BIRDING COOL?
Birding is one of North Americas fasted growing and most popular hobbies with as many as 44 MILLION bird watchers in the U.S. Birding is no longer considered a hobby only for professors in funny clothes and little old ladies. The modern Birder includes former Presidents, Rock Stars, Movie Stars, CEO’s, Scientists, Authors, Environmentalists, and Surfer dudes!
Did you know Ian Fleming named his most famous character after ornithologist James Bond.
WHY WATCH BIRDS?
Birds themselves are cool. They can fly where ever they want, when they want. Some travel thousands of miles each year- from South America to Alaska during spring migration, just to do it all over again in the fall. And they accomplish this with their internal GPS.
Birds are beautiful creatures –they have brilliant plumage and change their colors seasonally. They are master musicians, singing beautiful complex songs while some mimic artificial urban sounds they hear. They can hover, swoop, dive 200 mph from great heights (Peregrine Falcon), swim under water for long periods of time (1 minute for Diving Ducks), and spot a mouse at 100 feet (Red-Tailed Hawk).
They amaze and inspire us to want to learn more about them.