Birding & Bird Watching. What's the Difference?
Birding and bird watching essentially mean the same thing; The activity is described as observing wild birds in their natural habitat.
How do I go birding?
Bird watching requires you to learn to identify the birds, record their habits and habitat and take an interest in what they are doing and why. On Vancouver Island there are at least 250 species of wild birds that are relatively easy to find. It is amazing how interested you become in all the varied species of birds that surround you once you get started.
Where do we find birds to watch?
Birding is something you can do in your own back yard if you choose, however; in our area you could start your list anywhere, the beach, the lake, the river or even the back country. Once you get started and when you go travelling you begin to take note of any and all local birds that inhabit the area you are travelling in.
What kinds of people watch birds?
People of all ages, from the youngest to the oldest, a family activity you can participate in all your life, all year round, in any part of the world.
Birding is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activity in North America. Over 50 million North Americans report that they watch birds, and more people are taking it up all the time.
Can I learn more about bird watching?
- Find a local bird club or go for a walk with other bird watchers.
- Search the internet for sites devoted to bird watching or subscribe to a monthly bird watching magazine.
- Order some DVDs on bird watching to get started.
- Go to the library and get a good bird book or field guide.
- Start noticing and recording the birds around you, take pictures and start a scrap book.
Throughout history birds have delighted people all over the world because of their beauty, their song and their power of flight. Historically, birds were recognised as omens. The ancient Romans believed that the flights and calls of birds could foretell the future. All ancient civilisations created myths and legends around birds from the phoenix to the bluebird of happiness to the dove of love.
Today, modern science still values birds as a kind of oracle; bird populations are dramatically affected by the health of the environment and therefore they are a thermometer to gage the change and health of our ecosystems.
Specific birds are considered indicator species, like our abundant bald eagle; used to forecast environmental conditions, with this in mind our birds can assist us to plan a better, more sustainable relationship with nature.
What’s in it for me if I start birding?
Family fun. Big fun. A day with friends and family out doors helps us maintain a healthy connection with the immersing beauty of our natural surroundings.
Personal satisfaction. We are given the opportunity to hunt and therefore fulfil our natural instincts of survival without the killing. The perfect sport, in fact, you actually come away with something to show for the day, a journal and hopefully some pictures.
Healthy activity. Birding gets you out of doors and walking, something that we are lucky to be able to do for 12 months of the year on Vancouver Island. Although the activity is relatively effortless, because of your attention being fixed on the birds, however sometimes while birding you can cover quite a bit of ground without being aware of it.
Family togetherness. Birding unites people across generations, with no restriction on age. Parents or grandparents can guide younger children to an interest in nature that will stay with them all their lives.
Group companionship. An ideal social activity for any group no matter how much knowledge they have. With the sport growing as fast as it is a birder need never be lonely.
Meditative solitude. A special pleasure is received when birding by yourself. Your mind settles down, your senses open up, and all nature seems to become your friend. You become focused on what is around you and it serves to give you a meditative state that cannot be achieved in doors.