Bird watching is one of the world’s fastest growing hobbies, and in the UK it is estimated that over 6 million people regularly go bird watching.
It seems that bird watching, which was once considered the preserve of nerds in anoraks, has become fashionable. In a 2017 survey it was found that 32 per cent of men aged between 16 and 25 have been bird watching and Condé Nast Traveller magazine described bird-watching as “2017’s unlikeliest craze”
One reason for this trend could be due to popular TV nature programmes like the BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch. People are also becoming more aware of the environment which includes learning about and caring for wildlife.
And there is a growing list of celebrity birders including Cameron Diaz, Vic Reeves, Sean Bean, Joanna Lumley, Mick Jagger, Jarvis Cocker and of course Bill Oddie.
Modern technology is helping bird watchers too. The internet means that rare sightings can be instantly recorded, there are many bird guides online and there can be more communication between bird watchers across the globe. Bird song and apps can be downloaded onto iPhones to help with identification and digital cameras used for taking instant photos of birds from a fair distance are affordable for most.
As well as learning about birds and wildlife, nature and the environment, bird watching is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air and countryside.