Bird watching is a popular hobby especially for families where every member of the family can take part regardless of your age or budget as it is a relative inexpensive outdoor activity. It is also not affected by your geographical location as bird watching can be done anywhere in the world in the great outdoors, making bird watching an ideal family activity with minimal start up costs. For those who love birds and are eager to learn more about them, observing these birds in their natural habitat and discovering the different spectacular species is what bird watching is all about. What a sight it is when an eagle soars above or a flycatcher hovering close to some pretty summer flowers or a flock of playful gold and blue tits fluttering their bright blue and yellow wings in the trees.
Unlike many outdoor activities such as fishing or mountaineering which require expensive specialist equipment, bird watching does not cost the earth. Additional gadgets may enhance the experience and help in gathering observational data for research purposes but they are not a necessity. Anyone can bird watch from a chair by the window of a flat, others who are more adventurous can hike to the far corners of the earth to catch a glimpse of some of the more exotic and rare species. It is usually done by using the naked eye and for enthusiasts who would like to get a better and closer view of the birds, they would use binoculars. With affordable digital cameras so readily available on the market these days with zooming ability, bird watchers are now able to take high quality photographs of these birds and share them with other fellow bird watchers by publishing them on the internet. Speciality books on birds rich with illustrations are easily available at bookstores and libraries, making bird watching a very accessible hobby for everyone.
It is very common for bird watching enthusiasts to be very knowledgeable about the different species of birds in the world but this does not make them a scientist. They do not study the birds by scientific methods. They simply take great enjoyment in watching, observing and listening to the different birds. They engage in this activity purely as a favourite pastime. Some are quite happy to observe the birds that visit their backyards, others travel far and wide to observe as many birds as possible around the world. Many bird watchers will get up at the crack of dawn to see what type of birds might appear that day as birds like to look for food in the early morning. Some will log their observations by keeping a journal.
There are many national and international organisations (Check out BirdWatch Ireland) devoted to this hobby. Members of these organisations exchange helpful tips and information to enhance the experience of other fellow bird watchers. Some local bird watching hobby groups are formed to observe and make records of the birds that are in their area.