There is somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 bird species on the planet, and it’s the goal of a birder to see as many of them as possible.
While this might sound like a tall order, there are thousands of people around the world who proudly claim to be birders. So why do they do it?
Apart from the obvious fact that it’s fun and birds are wonderful creatures, Here, in no particular order, are some of our reasons to become a birder:
No Batteries Required
Birding is extremely low-tech.
All you really need to go bird watching are eyes and birds. If you want to get fancy, even the best scopes don’t need to be plugged in. A good field guide is also free of electricity demands. Due to the freedom of the hobby, you can “bird” to your heart’s content.
Of course, bird watching is more fun with a camera and a bit of fuel in the car. Then get home and showcase your finds on your instagram page!
You will also get to see more of the world. Even though your own home town probably has quite a number of bird species, you’ll have to travel further afield to see much more of them.
Birds Are Everywhere You Are
One thing you cannot help in this world is seeing birds. They’re everywhere. Look up, look down, go to the ocean, the mountains, the desert, or the forest and it doesn’t matter; you will see birds.
The result of this avian abundance is the sheer diversity of even the most common species in your area. Start writing down the birds you see in an average month and you will easily identify twenty or more species. Because of migratory patterns, many locales may see hundreds of different types in a year. All you have to do is pay attention.
Beautiful, fascinating birds are everywhere in startling numbers. You see them everyday. Once you decide that you would like to be able to identify them, it happens — you’re a birder!
Bird Watching Gets You Out Of The House
No matter how you slice it, bird watching is an outdoor activity. If you sit on your verandah and look up for long enough, you may spot something interesting flying overhead. More than likely, though, all you’ll get for your trouble is a neck cramp. If you want to see birds, you need to meet them in their element.
This is a good thing. Few things are as nourishing to the body, mind, and soul as a direct experience of and with the natural world. We all need nature places. Part of the beauty of these birding excursions is the guaranteed variety of your surroundings. If you want to see waterfowl, explore a marsh or wetland. For shorebirds, hit the beach. Warblers and tree-clingers love trees, so plan a trip to the nearest forest. And when migration season rolls around, you might just see the most unusual/uncommon birds!
Birding does not have to be an extreme sport. There are plenty of low-impact opportunities to spot birds in parks and sanctuaries in nearly every community. However, for those of you that are willing to work up a sweat, the deeper you get into the wilderness, forest, mashlands the closer you will be to the places that many rare birds dwell. The added bonus of observing a bird in its natural setting, far from the chaos of the modern world, is priceless. And the fresh air will do you a great deal of good!
The Thrill Of The Hunt
Some people believe that nothing worth having comes easily. These contrary individuals are undoubtedly birders at heart. Many bird watchers place a value on their sightings in direct proportion to the challenge of laying eyes on the prize.
Virtually everyone can be seduced by the thrill of the hunt. In the hunt, one’s quarry is not really the issue. Rather than call this feeling greed, I’ll label it as intense desire. The more intense this desire is, the more exhilarating its fulfilment.
Birding encourages that kind of desire and commands the effort needed to satisfy this desire. That’s why birders enter the field knowing what birds to look for. They check the lists, cross-reference the season, comb the Rare Bird Alerts for good measure, and read up on the habits of their quarry. Birders eagerly study species habitat, diet, song, markings, migration, nesting, and breeding. If this isn’t hunting, what is?
The act of trying to sneak up on a creature with a far greater perceptual range than you’ll ever have feels truly primeval. Your life doesn’t depend on it, but the stakes are still high. One wrong step and the bird will fly, and you may never see that bird again. Terrifying!
The Element Of Surprise
One lesson any observers of the natural world learn quickly is to take nothing for granted. Nature loves to defy all expectations. Nobody expects snow in April or earthquakes in New York, but who can really be shocked if these things arise? We cannot predict the movements of the natural world with certainty, but we can watch the mysteries unfold.
True birders, consciously or intuitively, give themselves over to the capricious wilfulness of nature. After all, the experts out there, the birders who have added thousands of species to their lists and identified all the local birds with their eyes closed, still visit the same haunts. They scan the flocks of seabirds and waders and warblers intently, because they know that, in the midst of a thousand common birds, there may be one rare bird hitching a ride. Usually, a bunch of egrets is just a bunch of egrets, all just like the ones you’ve seen before. But once in a while, someone exciting, something many thousands of miles from home, shows up. Birders enter every wood and wetland with the promise of seeing something altogether new and unexpected.
Birders are always looking for a surprise. Chances are that they’re going to get it.
Would take up bird watching as a new hobby? What do you think of it? Lets start a discuss!!
Post curated from 1000birds