Birdwatching or birding, is one of the forms of studying wild animals. It can be observed both simply – with the naked eye, and with the help of a visual device (binoculars, telephoto lens or webcam). Also, on the Internet you can find such a definition of birdwatching – visual “hunting” for birds in their natural habitat using binoculars or a camera. Birdwatching can also be called amateur ornithology, as bird watchers are often hobbyists. In addition to visual observation, birdwatching also includes listening to birds singing, since many species are much easier to recognize by voice than by their appearance.
An elegant pastime for wealthy people – birdwatching in parks – first appeared in Victorian England. It was considered an exquisite activity that could be mentioned in small talk. The term “birdwatching” first appeared in English in the 30s of the last century. “Bird” – in English “bird”, “watching” – to watch, observe, “birding” – poultry science. Birdwatching- an unusual hobby. In fact, it can also be called collecting, but here the collector does not collect any material objects (stamps, coins, etc.), but birdwatching. The spread of birdwatching is directly related to the production of remote monitoring devices – binoculars and telescopes, and later, with the development of photographic equipment – to the production of photographic and film cameras, with which one can not only observe, but record meetings with birds in photos and videos.
Is It Really That Exciting and Interesting?
Birdwatching is a hobby for those who like active rest. Often, such bird watchers have to move a lot over rough terrain in order to at least just see this or that bird. In turn, birding can be compared to a spy game where a scout tracks down fearful feathered friend. Or hunting, in which the hunter is armed not with a gun or a bow, but with a camera or binoculars. Nowadays even a new term has appeared – “photo hunting”. Photo hunting is a fascinating process, not much different from hunting, only photographs and videos of birds (and animals) will be trophies here. Really keen birdwatchers can go for real feats for the sake of observing a rare bird or taking a good photo – getting up at dawn, walking 20-30 kilometres a day or sitting in a shelter for several hours.
How is Bird Watching Useful?
Who is there among the bird watchers? Anyone can become an “observer” or a photo-hunter – a child or an adult, a man or a woman, a housewife and an office manager. The list is endless. The most important thing here is to have a simple desire (well, or inexpensive binoculars or a camera). And knowledge accumulates gradually – in the process of observation and study of literature. The information collected by these amateur bird watchers can be of great value. After all, ornithology is a science mostly based on observation. By collecting information bit by bit from these amateur bird watchers, professionals can make important scientific discoveries or make adjustments to the information already available about specific species.
Birdwatchers may gather in small groups, but most often they hunt alone. After all, birds are shy and do not like noise. In addition to everything, here you also need to be able to disguise, since birds are able to distinguish colors, their shades and combinations, and just have good eyesight.
What could be better than to break away from worries and problems and get out in your free time to nature or at least just to the park. Walk through the forest or river bank and collect new observations, impressions or photographs of birds in your birdwatching collection? And sometimes extraordinary luck happens, and you can meet a rare bird listed in the Red Book. Some Birders specially collect whole collections of photographs of birds, climbing for missing specimens in such wilds and wilderness, spending whole weekends or even vacations on it, which is incomprehensible to the mind. And they rejoice at the new sample in their collection, as true collectors of rarities.
Bird-watching is a very exciting activity. Having tightened it once, it does not let go, and people, as a rule, live with this hobby all their lives. That is why bird-watching is interesting because it can include tourism, and science, and hunting, and collecting, and tourism, and photography. Yes, a lot more. Isn’t it a wonderful hobby, that can bring scientific benefits to everything, as well as simply inexpressible emotions and unforgettable memories?
In our age of rapid development of communications and the Internet, it is not so difficult for birdwatchers to find like-minded people. There are many sites and groups on social networks (for example, a wonderful group on Facebook “Bird Watch”), where amateur bird watchers share their observations, photos, videos and emotions. People and birds are neighbors and friends. After all, we are all inhabitants of the same territory, and it is better to live together with neighbors.