Bird Watching, Birding, and Ornithology

Written by on April 9, 2014 in Bird Watching with 0 Comments

Bird-Watching,-BirdingWhat’s the difference between a bird watcher, birding, birders, twitching and ornithology? A lot of terms, but do they mean the same thing? No, as a matter of fact, they are all quite different. They each represent a different level or approach to learning and studying birds.

Bird watching is considered one of the most popular outdoor sports in America and across the world. We all know this can be enjoyable sport or leisure time activity. But for many people, it’s a passion. The depth and level of this passion is what separates these terms.

Bird Watching and Birding

Some people will consider bird watching and birding to be interchangeable terms. Birds are more than just an animal to see, they are also vocal, especially songbirds. So the term bird watching seems to set up to some people the exclusion of the auditory side of birds. This makes the term birding a slightly more intense version of the passion.

Birders tend to be people who are quite passionate about their sport. They look for unique species, track what they discover and where, even the weather conditions and time of day. Birders note small differences in the various bird species they see. Birders typically take part in bird counts and participate in other wild bird conservation efforts.

More Bird Professionals

Twitchers is a British term that refers to those who are willing to travel long distances to see rare birds. They keep a list of the birds they see and seem to see it as a life passion to check off as many birds as they can.bird watching

Ornithologist are the scientists who study birds. Ornithology is a branch of zoology (the study of animals) and can be practiced in the field or the laboratory. A college education is needed to truthfully claim the title of ornithologist.

No matter which level you see yourself, or want to achieve, a pair of binoculars is typically the first piece of equipment to get. But learning about birds, what to look for and what to listen for, is a must for any level of bird studying person.

If backyard bird watching is enough passion for you, that’s also a great idea. Your passion can be as fun and worthwhile as any out there.

 

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