What Is Birding?
Take an average individual with normal interest in bird watching and increase his or her enthusiasm, intensity, technical knowledge, and desire to network with other enthusiasts and you will get a person interested in birding.
The term bird watching was used in a book named 'Bird Watching' by Edmund Selous in the first decade of the 20th century. Bird watching indicates a desire to just watch the birds. A person interested in birding takes efforts to learn more about birds, their lifestyle, habitats, physical and behavioral characteristics, and various other details. Such persons often spend a few thousand dollars on their hobby every year. The average bird watching enthusiast rarely takes pains to spend money and learn a lot about birds
How Bird Watching Started
Our relationship with birds began thousands of years ago when humans hunted birds for their food. However, a birding or bird watching enthusiast is not interested in eating the bird. Rather, he or she observes the bird in its natural habitat as an impartial spectator.
Interest in observing birds as a hobby began when government and public minded individuals setup organizations like Audubon Society (USA) and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (UK) to regulate bird trade. More and more people became interested in bird watching as individuals accumulated knowledge about birds and wrote books and newspaper articles.
The automobile boom after WW II made it easier for enthusiasts to travel hundreds of miles just to watch birds in their natural surroundings. Better binoculars, developments in optic technology and growth of an industry related to birding contributed a lot to the development of the hobby. Today, bird watching is a multi-billion dollar industry. From books and other resources to tools and equipments that an avid birding enthusiast must carry - the scope and extent of this pastime has expanded significantly.
It is very easy to get started with bird watching. Any individual with a garden in the backyard or access to a wooded area can indulge in bird watching. The internet helps enthusiasts know more about the birds that they have observed. Online forums facilitate better exchange of information as well.
Stress Busting Hobby
Birding also represents an opportunity for urban dwellers to enjoy time communing with nature. The pastime takes people deep into wooded areas and forests away from the hustle and bustle of city life. There is growing emphasis about green birding - a concept that focuses on reducing the environmental footprint of birding enthusiasts. Governments are recognizing the expertise of such persons and are employing them for conducting bird censuses as well.
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