ARE BIRD­WATCH­ERS HAV­ING AN IDEN­TITY CRI­SIS?

The merg­ing of pho­tog­ra­phy and bird­ing

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Spotted Hyenas -

gone out bird­ing re­cently is sure to have no­ticed that bird­watch­ers in­creas­ingly use cam­eras in ad­di­tion to, and some­times as a re­place­ment for, binoc­u­lars. Pho­tog­ra­phers are also spend­ing more time ob­serv­ing birds and wildlife than they used to. Although the cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence sug­gests a shift in fo­cus within the hobby of bird­ing, we at Trop­i­cal Bird­ing wanted to come to a more em­pir­i­cal un­der­stand­ing of the shift, in or­der to best serve our clients. We did this by sur­vey­ing thou­sands of peo­ple through our mail­ing lists and Face­book page (face­book.com/ Trop­i­calBird­ing/), and were elated to get sev­eral hun­dred re­sponses de­tail­ing peo­ple’s chang­ing bird­ing/wildlife watch­ing/na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy habits. The re­sults left us amazed.

(C) Sam Woods

“The rarely seen cres­cent­faced antpitta is a bird not pho­tographed on most photo tours, and rarely snapped on a bird­ing tour, as it re­quires so much time to see the bird well enough for a photo.”

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