You may be surprised to learn that one of the fastest growing outdoor hobbies is birding. Birding is defined as the observation of birds in their natural habitats as a hobby. Once thought of as an activity reserved for retirees, birding is starting to catch on with a whole new generation, because as it turns out, birding is awesome, and these are the top five reasons why.
Birding takes you to unique places
Something great about birding is that it can take you to a variety of places. Birds live in pretty much every environment and location imaginable, so there’s no shortage of locations to visit. Many of them are beautiful and scenic, while others are urban and populous. State parks, natural areas, large cities and backyard bird feeders are all places people go to find birds. Sometimes the most memorable birding trips can be the ones involving the most ecclectic places that you woudn’t have gone to if not for the birds. Birding is essentially a scavenger hunt that takes place in every corner of the world so who knows what strange and wonderful place you will end up visisting because of it.
Birding can be low cost
In terms of cost effective hobbies, birding can be at the top of the list. It’s totally free to go outside and take a walk, or stay inside and look out the window. Otherwise a state park sticker and the cost of gasoline can open up a lot of possibilities on a small budget. That being said, there can be some aspects of birding that are more on the pricey side. Buying gear like cameras, scopes, and binoculars can certainly be expensive, but those types of items are typically one time or infrequent purchases and while helpful, they are not necessary to be a birder. The good news is that to participate in birding, the costs can be minimal to non existent depending on what you want to do.
Birding can be social
While some people love the solitutde of birding by themselvs, there are also many who love the social aspect of birding. Just like any community, the birding community has many forums, message boards and groups, both online and in person to participate in. Chances are, there is some sort of bird club or ornithological society nearby and even if there isn’t there are almost certainly other birders nearby that can be found via facebook or other social media sites. Whether you’re looking for a tight knit group to go birding with our a larger community to share ideas with, you can certainly find it.
Birding can be competitive
While many people think of birding as a leisurly activity, it can actually be quite competitive. The Big Year is a birding competition in which people try to find as many bird species as they can in a calendar year. While this type of bird competition can be a long grind, others are more fast paced such as big day competitions where birders try and find as many species as they can in a single day. There are also birding records that include the first person to see a bird in a particular county or state as well as life list totals. If there is something that can be quantified in birding, chances are that someone has started a competition around it. For people that are competitive and love nature, birding can be an incredible hobby.
Birding can be what you want it to be
Undoubtedly one of the best things about birding is that it is what you make it. Since there are so many different fascets to the hobby, there is something for everyone and each individual can find a niche that suits them. Since there are no firm rules governing the hobby it really is up to each person to make birding what they want it to be. If they want to be a competitive lister, bird photographer, or casual feeder watcher it’s all under the umbrella of birding.
Although birding is starting to gain traction as a main stream hobby, some people have predicted that birding is about to get much more popular, and It makes sense that it would. There are so many things about birding that make it an incredibly fun hobby for people of all ages and skill levels that it’s only a matter of time before the secret gets out. Do you know people who would enjoy birding? Send them this article and get them started on their journey.