Good question! Backyard birding is defined by the US Fish & Wildlife Service as “watching birds around the home,” and it’s considered the most common form of bird-watching. It’s also a very lucrative industry.
Did you know?
- To be counted as a birder, an individual must have either taken a trip one mile or more from home for the primary purpose of observing birds and/or closely observed or tried to identify birds around the home.
- At last count (2011), there were 47 million birders in the US, about 20% of the population.
- 88% of birders are backyard birders, watching birds from the comfort of their homes.
- Backyard Birders spent nine times as many days watching birds as did people who traveled more than a mile from home to bird watch.
So, if you’re a backyard birder like me, take comfort in knowing that you’re part of a growing movement! One that spends some $41 billion annually on birding activities, including travel, technology, and education.
Want to know what a birder looks like? Lol. According to Market Analysis of Bird-Based Tourism: A Focus on the U.S. Market to Latin America and the Caribbean Including Fact Sheets on The Bahamas, Belize, Guatemala, Paraguay, the profile of a US birder is:
- Highly educated
- Higher annual income
- Middle-aged and elderly (okay, that one hurts)
- Slightly more female than male
- Usually travel solo or with a partner, rather than in large groups
- Members of local bird clubs
- Spend 13-14 days birding away from home
BTW, I’m considered an “Enthusiastic Birder.” Which one are you?
Either way, I’d say you’re in great company.