what is the hobby of bird watching called

Birdwatching or birding means going outside to enjoy watching birds. It is a popular hobby. Someone who does this may be called a birdwatcher, but more often a twitcher or birder. They are usually amateurs. The scientific study of birds is called ornithology. People who study birds as a profession are called ornithologists.

Birdwatching is very popular in countries such as Britain and the United States. It can be especially rewarding in spring when a lot of birds are singing and building nests to raise their young. In spring and autumn many birds can be seen as they migrate. In winter some other kinds of birds may be visiting from colder areas such as the Arctic where there is no food in the winter.

Famous birdwatchers editSee also:

There are roughly 10,000 different species of birds, and very few people have seen more than 7,000 of them. Many avian enthusiasts have dedicated their entire lives to observing every species of bird in the world. [78] Stuart Keith is credited as being the original initiator of this. [79].

Extreme measures have been known to be taken by birdwatchers, and some have even perished in the process. Phoebe Snetsinger traveled extensively with her family’s inheritance while battling malignant melanoma, escaping rape and assault in New Guinea, and passing away in a car crash in Madagascar. [80] She saw as many as 8,400 species. In February 1985, a tiger killed David Hunt, a birdwatcher who was leading a bird tour in Corbett National Park. [81][82] Ted Parker traveled across North America in 1971 and observed 626 species. Ted Parker would later perish in an aircraft accident in Ecuador. [83] Kenn Kaufman broke this record in 1973, traveling 69,000 miles, seeing 671 species, and spending less than $1,000. [84].

Tom Gullick, an Englishman living in Spain, made history in 2012 by being the first birdwatcher to record more than 9,000 species. [85] In 2008, two British birdwatchers named Alan Davies and Ruth Miller sold their house, quit their jobs, and committed all of their assets to a year-long worldwide birdwatching journey. They wrote a book titled The Biggest Twitch about their experience. On December 31, 2008, they recorded their 4,341st species in Ecuador. [86] In 2015, Noah Strycker surpassed Davies and Miller with 6,042 species recorded. [87] In 2016, Arjan Dwarshuis recorded 6,852 bird species in 40 countries, setting a new world record for the most species seen in a single year. [88].

Birders like Pete Dunne and Bill Oddie have popularized birdwatching literature, field guides, and television shows.

The history of birdwatching edit Birdwatching photographers, New South Wales, June 1921, AH Chisholm

The term “bird watching” was originally used in the title of Edmund Selous’ 1901 book Bird Watching. [12] The development of optics and field identification guides in North America allowed for the identification of birds, which was previously believed to be possible only through shooting. Florence Bailey’s Birds through an Opera Glass (1889) was the first field guide published in the United States. [13].

In the early and middle of the 20th century, birding in North America was concentrated in the eastern seaboard region, and it was influenced by the writings of Roger Tory Peterson and Ludlow Griscom. Neltje Blanchan’s Bird Neighbors (1897), a pioneering birding book, sold more than 250,000 copies. [14] It was illustrated with color photographs of stuffed birds. [15].

Through groups like the American Ornithologists Union (AOU) and the Audubon Society, which opposed bird killing, people interested in birds were first organized and connected. Due to birdwatchers’ increased mobility as a result of the car’s growing popularity, new locations became accessible. [16] Under the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), networks of birdwatchers in the UK started to emerge in the late 1930s. Unlike the Audubon Society and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which both sprang from the bird protection movement, the BTO recognized the potential to generate scientific results through the networks. [17].

The primary focus of the BOU, like the AOU in North America, was collection-based taxonomy. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the BOU began to focus on ecology and behavior. [18] The RSPB opposed the BTO’s push for organized birdwatching, arguing that the activity shouldn’t become more scientific. It wasn’t until 1936, when Tom Harrisson and others took over the RSPB, that this position would change. Harrisson played a key role in setting up the first-ever great crested grebe surveys. [19].

Birdwatchers’ greater mobility made it possible for books like John Gooders’ Where to Watch Birds to become best-sellers. [20] By the 1960s, air travel was practical, and long-distance vacation spots became available. In 1965, Lawrence Holloway founded Ornitholidays, the first birding tour company in Britain. [21] Long-distance travel also caused issues with name usage: British birds, like “wheatear,” “heron,” and “swallow,” required adjectives to set them apart in areas where multiple related species were present. In the 1980s, a growing number of people were able to fly to far-off birding destinations due to the declining cost of air travel [22]. The Handbook of the Birds of the World, started in the 1990s by Josep del Hoyo, Jordi Sargatal, and David A., was one of the largest projects that resulted from the growing need for worldwide bird guides. Christie, and ornithologist Andy Elliott. [23].

Birdwatching was originally mostly limited to developed nations like the United States of America and the United Kingdom. An increasing number of people in developing nations, like those in Ethiopia’s Degua Tembien district, have been involved in this activity since the second half of the 20th century. [24] Transnational birding has been crucial in this, as birders in developing nations typically acquire the hobby as a result of exposure to other cultures that have a long history of birdwatching. [25] Most male, middle-aged, wealthy transnational birders are from Scandinavia or the Anglophone countries. [26].

Mobile applications edit

The 2010s saw a rise in the accessibility of mobile devices, which made smartphones a practical tool for birdwatching. Mobile apps, like the official Audubon Society app and the digital Sibley Guide to Birds, can serve as substitutes for traditional field guides for birdwatching. [61] Other applications, like iNaturalist and the Merlin Bird ID app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, use machine learning to identify birds automatically from pictures and audio recordings. [61][62].

Birdwatchers frequently use the eBird database from Cornell Lab of Ornithology to record their sightings. It is not only a citizen science project that ornithologists use to record trends in bird populations, but it also lets birders search by species and location and view recent reports from other birders [63]. [64] eBird designates certain species as “sensitive species,” meaning that sighting locations are concealed from the general public. These species include endangered species and those that are likely to be impacted by increased human activity. [65].


What are professional bird watchers called?

An ornithologist is someone who studies ornithology — the branch of science devoted to birds. Ornithologists study every aspect of birds, including bird songs, flight patterns, physical appearance, and migration patterns. Birds are genetically related to dinosaurs, which is something else an ornithologist might study.

What do you call someone who likes to watch birds?

Someone who does this may be called a birdwatcher, but more often a twitcher or birder. They are usually amateurs. The scientific study of birds is called ornithology. People who study birds as a profession are called ornithologists. Birdwatching is very popular in countries such as Britain and the United States.

What is a person whose hobby is to watch birds called?

Birder. The acceptable term used to describe the person who seriously pursues the hobby of birding. May be professional or amateur.

What is slang for bird watching?

They literally twitch; hence “twitchers”.