The community of ecotourists is growing each year, with increased awareness about the importance of sustainability and conservation in the travel industry. One activity that can be practiced sustainably while also contributing to conservation efforts is birding.
Birding as a sustainable activity
Some reports have deemed bird watching travel as the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the United States. It’s a perfect activity for the whole family, and it doesn’t require much equipment to get started. Birding trips can be added to any trip itinerary.
The hobby of bird watching continues to grow in popularity because of its unique ability to immerse observers into natural surroundings. To become a skilled birder, one must discover how to camouflage and sink into the environment, learning about different habitats and habits of wildlife.
Many birding hotspots in the world
Birding trips can be added to any trip itinerary. If you are traveling in Brazil, be sure to take an Ecotour into the Amazon Rainforest – perhaps the best birding hot spot in the world, holding the richest biodiversity. A runner-up for best bird watching hotspot is New Zealand, home to a number of birds that are found nowhere else on earth. Here are a few helpful tips to begin taking part in the activity of responsible birding.
How to start birding
To get started with bird watching, you’ll need a good field guide. There are options available in print and as smartphone apps. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern & Central North America is the most popular print edition, for good reason: colored drawings within the book are useful for comparing species that look similar. Be sure to select a guide that focuses on the area where you live or the area where you will be taking your next birding trip. The Audubon app is available for iOS and Android, allowing you to create personalized birding lists, view photographs, and hear bird calls – which is a critical step in learning to identify distinct avian characters.
One piece of equipment to add to your birding tools is a set of excellent binoculars. When observing wildlife, the faintest details make all the difference in being able to positively identify the animal. A reliable pair of binoculars will make this much easier to accomplish and allow you to advance your bird identification skills. It also helps you observe from a distance, respecting the space that wildlife requires. If you plan to spend a lot of time observing sea birds and ducks, invest in waterproof binoculars.
Ecotourism involves conserving the local environment, contributing to the local community, and embarking on a learning experience. By taking a local ecotour on your next adventure, birding is able to combine all of these elements. You can become part of a global birding community by uploading your observations to Ebird.org. This site allows you to track the birds you see – anywhere in the world! Hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, all the data uploaded to this site has a feedback loop to biologists all over the world, allowing them to use bird watching observations for important conservation assessments. The next step is to get out and search the skies!
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