TIP - Watch for images three-across in this section. Roll your mouse over the image to see the name of the bird.
There are two, distinctive segments of the hobby of bird watching.
In combination, over 50 million Americans watch and feed birds, expending over $20 billion each year in the process. Download the latest report for detailed information.
Wildlife Watching in the U.S.: The Economic Impacts on National and State Economies in 2006 .
Bird feeding represents the larger of the two groups. It can be enjoyed by anyone, and can be as simple as spreading seed on the ground.
As interest in the hobby grows, a variety of feeders and feed can be added to attract more species. Birdbaths are easy additions that attract a larger diversity of species than just feeding birds.
As bird identification becomes more important, binoculars and a field guide become a valuable aid.
The second segment is now known as birding . Those that participate in the hobby are birders.
On one end of the spectrum, birding can be a casual hobby. On the other end it can become a competitive sport, with individuals or teams seeking to identify the greatest number of different species in a specified time frame.
Birders require a good p...
Many birders enjoy keeping one or more lists of the birds they have seen. Keeping lists of birds observed can help one learn about bird distribution and seasonal patterns. It also feeds the urge many people have to collect things. Because wild birds cannot actually be collected, keeping a list of birds you have seen provides a legal and fun alternative. There is always a measure of excitement when a new species is added to a personal list. The list might be of the birds seen in your own backyard, or it may be a life list, which is a list of all the birds you have seen since you started bird watching.
Like other aspects of bird watching, listing can be very casual or very competitive, and either kept personal or publicly shared and compared. Here is a list of lists, so to speak, that some people keep. You may keep none or one or all of these lists, or even create your own category.
1. Yard list - all the birds you have seen on your property
Check out the old Adam 12 police series to add Bachman's sparrow to your TV list. This is an interesting (that’s a nice way of saying inaccurate) bird occurrence, since Bachman's Sparrow frequents the piney woods of the southeastern United States, not suburban LA where the show takes place. Hollywood often makes such mistakes, but only avid birders ever realize it. You will also soon notice how many shows use the scream of a Red-tailed Hawk, even when showing something else, like a soaring Turkey Vulture (that’s a two-for-one on your list if you spot it!).
If you decide to keep a list of the birds you see, there are a few things to keep in mind. When recording a species you have seen for the first time, it is standard procedure to record the common name, the date seen, and the location. Spec...