Backyard Birdwatching, or birding, first started in the late 18th century as a way to observe birds for a purely recreational and aesthetic activity instead of the utilitarian activity of hunting. Birding became a favorite hobby of the British during the 19th century and during the 20th century, the Eastern Coast of the USA became a favorite birding spot for bird-lovers.
Currently, 20% of all Americans self-identify as a birdwatcher. According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study, birdwatchers contribute over $36 billion to the US economy annually!
What makes Birdwatching so popular? Researchers at Cornell University report that birdwatching is a way for individuals to relax in their own backyard (or patio). Birdwatchers report that observing bird in their “local patch (home environment) help them reconnect to nature – especially in urban environments. Besides the personal stress reduction and relaxation you will get from watching birds, birds NEED you!!! Many populations of backyard birds are declining. Habitat loss, degradation, disease, collisions with man-made structures (i.e. buildings in the city) are just a few contributing factors to these declines. YOU can help to protect birds by turning your yard into a sanctuary… a home away from home for birds!
Being a birdwatcher can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. The big question… how to get started…
The following blog posts and pages will help you become a pro birdwatcher in no time!
Happy Birdwatching 😉
~Ginger & Lori