What’s Bird Watching?

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Birdwatching is a popular recreational activity that involves observing wild birds in their natural habitat. It can be enjoyed by people of all fitness levels and knowledge of birds. The Audubon Society was founded in honor of John Jacob Audubon, a famous bird watcher who made significant contributions to the identification and description of American bird species. Birders typically bring binoculars and bird guides on trips and keep a life list of every bird they have sighted. Local birding groups welcome new members and offer educational opportunities. Travel agencies also offer birding trips for nature enthusiasts.

Birdwatching, also called birdwatching, is a recreational pastime that involves observing wild birds in their natural habitat. People at all levels of fitness and ornithological knowledge can be avid birders, and many regions have thriving companies sponsoring educational tours and conferences. There are a variety of reasons to participate in this activity, but most birders say they simply enjoy the opportunity to get outside, learn about nature, and spend time with people who have similar interests.

Humans have been identifying and observing birds for centuries in an effort to become more knowledgeable about the natural world. Modern birders limit their identifications to photographs and drawings, but in earlier centuries birders also shot and mounted birds they identified in the wild. One of the most famous bird watchers, John Jacob Audubon, killed hundreds of birds, including many new species, and brought them back to life in vivid and unique drawings that were published in 1840 to great public acclaim.

In honor of Audubon, and in recognition of the immense contributions he made to the identification and description of American bird species, the Audubon Society was founded in the early 1900s. It helps preserve bird species, educate the public about birds and further scientific advances in the field or in ornithology. Today, the Audubon Society has many active local chapters that host regular birding trips and play a crucial role in conserving habitat for threatened and endangered species.

On a birding trip, birders typically bring along binoculars and bird guides to assist in spotting and identifying species. While many birders are very knowledgeable, a bird guide confirms identification and assists birders traveling into unfamiliar territory. Many birders also carry a life list, a document that allows them to keep track of every bird they have ever sighted. Other equipment typically includes heavy boots to tackle varied terrain and layered clothing to cope with variable weather conditions.

Many local birding groups welcome new members and enjoy educating people new to ornithology. Individuals interested in taking up this activity can contact a local chapter to get more information about it, and established birders can incorporate the pastime into their travels and vacations by connecting with bird groups at their destinations. Some travel agencies also offer birding trips, aimed at people interested in exploring nature and acquiring new species for their life lists.

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