Birding versus Birdwatching


Birding versus Birdwatching
By Kate Landsdorf

With my new Snypex Knight ED 8x42 Binoculars on hand, I am eager to call myself a birdwatcher... Or is it birder?

I hadn't given too much thought to the two similar sounding activities, birdwatching and birding,until I thought of posting pictures using my new gear and sharing the fruits of my labor. This confusion led me to google articles for context and meaning. I mean – what would I call myself?

As many people today use the terms synonymously, I researched what the difference was between birding and birdwatching. (Thank you about.com) Apparently, the term birdwatching came into use first, in 1901, while the term birding made its debut in 1918 - which is pretty close in time. But the hobby world considers the term birding to be more passionate and inclusive of more skills and resources. While birdwatching is casual and for everyone, people who consider themselves birders take things a step further. They may incorporate their auditory skills, spend significantly more time and money planning trips and on securing high quality equipment, and generally value and take great pride in the hobby.

Although the terms birdwatcher and birder are similar, the information I found sounds a bit like the difference between a casual vs. a committed relationship. As I explore the world of birds, I suppose I am starting as a birdwatcher. But maybe it will develop into something more.

Are you a birdwatcher or a birder? What does that mean to you?

 

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