Nature presents a certain kind of appeal to humans as we are surrounded daily by several natural blessings, very evident and obvious. From trees and vegetation to rivers, oceans, and animals, our world would indeed be a dark place if nature was absent. Haven noticed this, man has increased effort in getting to know all about what nature has to offer. In today’s world, nature is being studied both as a discipline and for the love of it. Both plants and animals, with their different species and categories, are all subjected to study and scrutiny. Birds, in general, have become an interesting subject for most people these days. These flying creatures continually fascinate a lot of people widely because of their distinct appearances and flight ability.
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It is now a common sight to see groups of people staring at a particular species or group of birds. This action is called birdwatching, and it is gradually growing rapidly. The concept of birdwatching has been widely embraced globally as birds are all around us. You can learn fascinating things and lessons by watching these wonderful creatures. Apart from just casually observing them, people also go as far as raising and keeping birds as pets. Several species are widely kept as home birds, including parrots, robins, sparrows, barn owls, among others. While domesticated, it is advisable to keep them in birdhouses suitable for the particular species.
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Generally, people who carry out birdwatching activities are known as birdwatchers. They can also be called birders, twitchers, or ornithologists. These different terms have their definitions and may slightly differ in meaning and interpretation, but they fall generally and are closely related to birdwatching. There are also various nature reserves and conservation sites set aside for the art and process of birdwatching. Still, it is important to state that this beautiful process can be carried out anywhere and at any time as long as you are willing and ready.
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Man’s curious nature has made him want to know everything and anything about his environment, which is why he practically studies all objects around him. Animals are not left out of man’s observation, and study as several species of animals have been singled out for intensive research. Birds are one of those groups of animals. The scientific and methodological study of birds and everything about them is known as ornithology. This field of study is concerned with the biology, anatomy, and even physiology of birds and how how they relate to nature and their environment. It is unlike several disciplines as it, not just scientific but also has an aesthetic appeal to it. This is why birdwatchers can also be referred to as ornithologists, as observing birds is the first step of work for every ornithologist. The careful and extensive observation and survey of birds help the ornithologist understand these creatures better.
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Differences between birding and birdwatching
It is often argued that there is no visible difference between these two bird activities, but this is not usually true. Enthusiasts of birds and the aviary would know that although these two are intricately linked and related, subtle differences tell them apart. These differences may be slightly invisible to regular eyes. Birdwatching has to do with watching birds for fun and other aesthetic reasons. It is an action that comes naturally as it is not common to gaze out of your window when you spot a lovely sparrow or bluebird. It is a simple activity that requires majorly paying attention.
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Birding, on the other hand, is the careful observation of birds in a bid to know more about them. It involves searching for several species of birds alive and spending time watching and surveying them. Birding is a hobby or bird activity that requires passion. Though the difference between a birder and a birdwatcher may not be pronounced, one major distinguishing factor is the level of commitment. A birder is committed to the art and process of watching birds than a birdwatcher. While a birdwatcher would simply stop and stare at a random bird sighted while driving or hiking, a birder would travel far and wide in search of various species of the animal, and this creates a separation between these bird lovers.
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Another factor that differentiates birding from birdwatching is the intention or purpose of the activity. The former is carried out with clear cut goals in mind such as getting to catch sight of new or rare species, identifying birds both by sight and sounds, and getting beautiful photographs of the animals while the latter simply just want to enjoy the view and, if possible commit it to memory. In this vein, the love of birds in a birder can be said to more compelling and compulsive than birdwatchers’. A group of birders known as twitchers can even be said to be obsessive as they search different areas and places to find new species of birds.
Ultimately, the satisfaction derived by a birder from the activity is relatively higher than the pleasure the birdwatcher receives. This is because birding to him is a life calling and of a higher purpose, whereas birdwatching to persons who do them is just fun and relaxing. Even with these differences, most people would still find it hard to tell these two activities apart, which in its entirety isn’t wrong.
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Seeing birds and watching them is a beautiful experience that can bring a whole new feeling and vigor to humans. This exercise helps to expose and connect you to nature and your environment. Birdwatching is also encouraged by the consumption of bird magazines and journals, which keeps you abreast with the latest trend and development in the world of birds. Whether you are a birder, birdwatcher, or a plain bird lover, watching birds help your mind in several ways.