As a bird-watching, birder type of individual have you ever been asked why do you bird watch? The answers can be as varied as their are birders, however have you given this question any thought? Well Lynn Barber was asked this question recently, and she to had to do some thinking about this very subject before she wrote her column for the American Birding Association web blog. I as well have given this question some thought and came away with some of the same responses Lynn Barber provides.
**Watching birds is a wonderful excuse for me to be outdoors
**Bird watching can be done at almost any time, whether I am alone or with other bird people
**There are birds almost anywhere I might go
**Birding can allow me to escape from the daily stuff or from especially bad things that are going on
**Birds are beautiful and interesting to watch
**Birds fly and I don’t
**Birding can be difficult and challenging, both to locate the birds and to get to where they might be
**Birding gives me a reason to see many sunrises
**Birds give me wonderful subject matter for photography and painting
**Looking for birds keeps me awake when I’m driving somewhere (usually on my way to find birds)
**Doing annual bird lists allows a new beginning each year
**Doing state, county and bird yard lists means that wherever I go I can be trying to add to at least one list
**The more that I watch birds, the more I appreciate environmental diversity and realize the need to protect and preserve the different environments
**Birding allows me to participate in citizen science, as in Breeding Bird Surveys and Christmas Bird Counts
**Birding with others allows me to find friends who may differ from me in their world views
**Birding with others allows me to find friend who agree with me in their world views
**Birding knowledge gives me a topic to talk to others about, such as garden clubs, scouts…
**Being an uncloseted birder gives others an easy way to figure out what to give me when the want to give me gifts
**Being a traveling birder gives me much time to plan my next bird trip, my life, my next blog article, etc.
**Birding often allows me to experience the thrill of the hunt
**Having birding experiences gives me something to write about
**As my mother once said to me when I complained about how birding was such an obsessive habit with me, “At least a birding habit isn’t harmful to others”.