Is Birdwatching a Sport?

Someone with a casual interest in birds who likes to quietly observe their garden comings and goings, or who enjoys seeing birds on their Sunday walk is likely to be described as a birdwatcher. Could this sort of activity be considered a sport? No, probably not. And for most of us the idea of ‘sport’ conjures up images of participants at least trying to break into a sweat. Not something you are likely to do from a garden bench with a pair of binoculars.

Birding on the other hand is a whole different story and certainly has the atributes to be considered a sport. It’s adrenaline-fuelled and active, chasing a rare bird into the depths of a thorn-infested woodland for hours is exhausting. Its competitiveness knows no bounds, if you’ve ever seen The Big Year, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Binoculars for birdwatching 8x vs 10x magnification

8x vs 10 x binoculars - person holding their pair in hand

The small difference in magnification may seem trivial, however, it has a significant impact on factors such as the weight of binoculars, the level of detail that is visible, the ability to locate and focus on close birds, maintaining a stable image, low light conditions, the distance birds are from your lens and how fast birds are moving.

Best Focal Length for Bird Photography?

Best Focal Length For Bird Photography - long lens photographer

Variable focal length lenses with a maximum focal length of between 400mm and 600mm are by far the most popular lenses for bird photography as they provide 8X magnification at 400mm and 12X magnification at 600mm when shooting with a full frame sensor camera.

Why is Birdwatching Important?

Why is birdwatching important - Bateleur bird

Birdwatching is important for many personal, societal and conservation reasons. Birdwatching provides huge amounts of data to conservation researchers, it is good for one’s physical and mental health, it has a massive positive economic impact, it helps connect people with nature and addresses the problem of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ in children. 

What is a Bird Life List?

Six red headed finches sit on rocks and surrounded by water

So, you have probably heard birders taking about their bird life lists and wondered what they were referring to. If you are new to birding/birdwatching or you just want to know what people are talking about, then this explanation will give you some insight into a life list and the minds of the birders that […]

How Popular is Birdwatching?

How popular is birdwatching - Crowd of birdwatchers

Millions of people are birdwatchers, with masses of clubs and groups in different countries across the globe — and as dull as it may seem to some, it is a great passion for many others. It has become one of the fast growing hobbies in North America, and in Canada more time is spent birdwatching than gardening! Birdwatching is now a multi-million dollar industry and one of the strongest magnetisms for ecotourism.