A group birdwatching with binoculars and a telescope
A birdwatching tower in Hankasalmi, Finland
Bird watching photographers, New South Wales, June 1921, AH Chisholm
Birdwatchers at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel, Florida
The Strait of Messina, Sicily, a classic migration bottleneck, seen from the Peloritani mountains
Moroccan students watching birds at Nador's lagoon as a part of environmental education activities organized by the Spanish Ornithological Society
Birdwatchers watching Britain's fifth-ever white-tailed lapwing at Caerlaverock, Scotland, 6 June 2007
Birders using a tower hide to gain views over foreground vegetation. Bay of Liminka, south of Oulu, Finland.

"Birding" redirects here.

- Birdwatching

500 related topics



American non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation of birds and their habitats.

"Audubon House", the former headquarters of the National Audubon Society at 700 Broadway in Manhattan, New York City
Los Angeles Audubon Society members studying the marsh wren in the Dominguez Slough, 1918
Audubon Center at Bent of the River, Southbury, Connecticut
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, Oyster Bay, New York
Audubon Center at Bent of the River, landscape, 2016
Audubon front lobby at its present headquarters in New York City, which earned a LEED Platinum designation for its Green features

They often organize birdwatching field trips and conservation-related activities.


Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Aves, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton.

Archaeopteryx lithographica is often considered the oldest known true bird.
Anchiornis huxleyi is an important source of information on the early evolution of birds in the Late Jurassic period.
Simplified phylogenetic tree showing the relationship between modern birds and dinosaurs
Confuciusornis sanctus, a Cretaceous bird from China that lived 125 million years ago, is the oldest known bird to have a beak.
Ichthyornis, which lived 93 million years ago, was the first known prehistoric bird relative preserved with teeth.
The range of the house sparrow has expanded dramatically due to human activities.
External anatomy of a bird (example: yellow-wattled lapwing): 1 Beak, 2 Head, 3 Iris, 4 Pupil, 5 Mantle, 6 Lesser coverts, 7 Scapulars, 8 Median coverts, 9 Tertials, 10 Rump, 11 Primaries, 12 Vent, 13 Thigh, 14 Tibio-tarsal articulation, 15 Tarsus, 16 Foot, 17 Tibia, 18 Belly, 19 Flanks, 20 Breast, 21 Throat, 22 Wattle, 23 Eyestripe
Didactic model of an avian heart
The nictitating membrane as it covers the eye of a masked lapwing
The disruptively patterned plumage of the African scops owl allows it to blend in with its surroundings.
Red lory preening
Restless flycatcher in the downstroke of flapping flight
Feeding adaptations in beaks
A flock of Canada geese in V formation
The routes of satellite-tagged bar-tailed godwits migrating north from New Zealand. This species has the longest known non-stop migration of any species, up to 10200 km.
The startling display of the sunbittern mimics a large predator.
Red-billed queleas, the most numerous species of wild bird, form enormous flocks – sometimes tens of thousands strong.
Many birds, like this American flamingo, tuck their head into their back when sleeping.
Like others of its family, the male Raggiana bird-of-paradise has elaborate breeding plumage used to impress females.
Male golden-backed weavers construct elaborate suspended nests out of grass.
Nest of an eastern phoebe that has been parasitised by a brown-headed cowbird
A female calliope hummingbird feeding fully grown chicks
Altricial chicks of a white-breasted woodswallow
Reed warbler raising a common cuckoo, a brood parasite
The peacock tail in flight, the classic example of a Fisherian runaway
Gran Canaria blue chaffinch, an example of a bird highly specialised in its habitat, in this case in the Canarian pine forests
Industrial farming of chickens
The use of cormorants by Asian fishermen is in steep decline but survives in some areas as a tourist attraction.
The 3 of Birds by the Master of the Playing Cards, 15th-century Germany
Painted tiles with design of birds from Qajar dynasty
The California condor once numbered only 22 birds, but conservation measures have raised that to over 500 today.

Recreational birdwatching is an important part of the ecotourism industry.

Bird vocalization

Bird vocalization includes both bird calls and bird songs.

Wing feathers of a male club-winged manakin, with the modifications noted by P. L. Sclater in 1860 and discussed by Charles Darwin in 1871
The Australian raven (ssp. perplexus) makes a slow, high-pitched ah-ah-aaaah sound.
A mated pair of white-naped cranes (Antigone vipio) performing a "unison call", which strengthens the pair bond and provides a territorial warning to other cranes
Song-learning pathway in birds
A timeline for song learning in different species. Diagram adapted from Brainard & Doupe, 2002.
Song selectivity in HVCx neurons: neuron activity in response to calls heard (green) and calls produced (red). a. Neurons fire when the primary song type is either heard or sung. b, c. Neurons do not fire in response to the other song type, regardless of whether it is heard or sung.
The sonograms of Luscinia luscinia and Luscinia megarhynchos singing help to distinguish these two species by voice definitely.
Sonogram of the call of a laughing dove.

In ornithology and birding, songs (relatively complex vocalizations) are distinguished by function from calls (relatively simple vocalizations).

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Charitable organisation registered in England and Wales and in Scotland.

Plaque at Fletcher Moss Park, Manchester, commemorating the foundation of the RSPB
Cover of Autumn 1946 issue of Bird Notes, Vol. 23, No. 3
An avocet at the RSPB's Minsmere reserve. This species is used in the RSPB's logo.
South Stack reserve, Anglesey, with Ellin's Tower, housing a visitor centre
A webcam installed near Sumburgh Head lighthouse, Shetland. The cliffs are home to large numbers of seabirds and the area is an RSPB nature reserve.
Advert for Bird Notes and News from the March 1934 edition of North Western Naturalist magazine. Note early logo.
Fund-raising at the Great British Beer Festival 2016.
Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland, painted by Philip Alexius de László in 1912

The reserves often have bird hides provided for birdwatchers and many provide visitor centres, which include information about the wildlife that can be seen there.

American Birding Association

The American Birding Association (ABA) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, dedicated to recreational birding in Canada and the United States.

Wildlife observation

Practice of noting the occurrence or abundance of animal species at a specific location and time, either for research purposes or recreation.

Hobby photographers taking pictures of wildlife at the Chobe River / Botswana (2018)
Birdwatchers on a beach
An example of a wildlife crossing sign
Polar bear hunting for food
Coral reef with fish
Map of the area where fishing was affected because of the BP oil spill
Smoke coming from a factory
Water pollution at Maracaibo lake

Common examples of this type of activity are bird watching and whale watching.

British Trust for Ornithology

Organisation founded in 1932 for the study of birds in the British Isles.

Entrance to Thetford Nunnery, base of the BTO

Its Garden Birdwatch survey, for example, allows large numbers of non-expert birdwatchers to participate, by making a weekly count of the birds they see in their gardens.

Bill Oddie

English writer, comedian, songwriter, musician, artist, birder, conservationist, television presenter and actor.

Oddie in February 2007
Bill Oddie performing live at the Astor Theatre in Perth, Western Australia, 27 June 2013.

A birder since his childhood in Quinton, Birmingham, Oddie has established a reputation as a naturalist, conservationist, and television presenter on wildlife issues.


Binoculars or field glasses are two refracting telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes (binocular vision) when viewing distant objects.

8×42 roof prism binoculars
A typical Porro prism binoculars design
Galilean binoculars
Cross-section of a relay lens aprismatic binocular design
Double Porro prism design
Porro prism binoculars
Schmidt–Pechan "roof" prism design
Abbe–Koenig "roof" prism design
Roof prism binoculars with the eyepieces in line with the objectives
Parameters listed on the prism cover plate describing 7 power magnification binoculars with a 50 mm objective diameter and a 372 foot field of view at 1000 yards
The small exit pupil of a 25×30 telescope and large exit pupils of 9×63 binoculars suitable for use in low light
Central-focusing binoculars with adjustable interpupillary distance
People using binoculars
Binoculars with red-colored multicoatings
Special reflective coatings on large naval ship 20×120 binoculars
Tower Optical coin-operated binoculars
Vector series laser rangefinder 7×42 binoculars can measure distance and angles and also features a 360° digital compass and class 1 eye safe filters
German U.D.F. 7×50 blc U-boat binoculars (1939–1945)
7×50 marine binoculars with dampened compass
US Naval ship 'Big eyes' 20×120 binoculars in fixed mounting
25 × 150 binoculars adapted for astronomical use
A simulated view of how the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31) would appear in a pair of binoculars
Beam path at the roof edge (cross-section); the P-coating layer is on both roof surfaces

Birdwatching is a very popular hobby among nature and animal lovers; a binocular is their most basic tool because most human eyes cannot resolve sufficient detail to fully appreciate and/or study small birds.


Branch of zoology that concerns the "methodological study and consequent knowledge of birds with all that relates to them."

A marbled godwit being ringed for studies on bird migration
A collection of bird skins, belonging to the family Cotingidae
Geese from a wall panel from the tomb of Nefermaat, Egypt c. 2575–2551 B.C.
Belon's comparison of birds and humans in his Book of Birds, 1555
Cover of Ulisse Aldrovandi's Ornithology, 1599
Antonio Valli da Todi, who wrote on aviculture in 1601, knew the connections between territory and song
An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, Joseph Wright of Derby, 1768
Early bird study focused on collectibles such as eggs and nests.
Kaup's classification of the crow family
Quinarian system of bird classification by Swainson
A mounted specimen of a red-footed falcon
Page from an early field guide by Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey
Bird-preservation techniques
Morphometric measurements of birds are important in systematics.
A bird caught in a mist net
A researcher measures a wild woodpecker. The bird's right leg has a metal identification tag.
A California condor marked with wing tags
An Emlen funnel is used to study the orientation behaviour of migratory birds in a laboratory. Experimenters sometimes place the funnel inside a planetarium to study night migration.
Summer distribution and abundance of Canada goose using data from the North American Breeding Bird Surveys 1994–2003
Red-billed queleas are a major agricultural pest in parts of Africa.

The interest in birdwatching grew in popularity in many parts of the world, and the possibility for amateurs to contribute to biological studies was soon realized.