Birding or bird watching is one of the greatest past times in Kabini, and with the region being home to over three hundred species of birds, this comes as no surprise. Equally entertaining or in fact in many cases rivalling this activity, is watching the bird watchers in action!
There are many types of bird watchers the world over, but the two most common are bird watchers and birders. Realistically speaking, the two terms are interchangeable, and can be used for anyone who observes and studies birds, no matter what their experience level or the passion they exhibit may be. Dedicated bird lovers, however, often have strong opinions about how they refer to themselves. In general, a birdwatcher, or someone who enjoys birdwatching, treats the hobby with more casualness. While they may enjoy many birds no matter where they are, they are less likely to plan explicit hikes or extensive travel only to see birds.
A birder is a more intense hobbyist. Birders frequently spend more money and are more avid about seeking out new birds. They may travel great distances to see a vagrant bird or attend a birding festival, and they may be more actively involved in the local bird community by leading bird walks, organizing lectures, promoting conservation, or encouraging bird-related events.
So, are you a birdwatcher or birder? Here is a rough guide. Birdwatchers own one or two field guides and won’t replace them until they fall apart, use less expensive binoculars, may keep a simple list and avoid multiple records, enjoy any birds they see on vacation, but don’t specifically travel just to see birds, try to identify birds but aren’t upset if they are mistaken; they enjoy the birds anyway.
Birders on the other hand, own several field guides and other bird reference books, break the bank on optics and may have several different scopes and binoculars, keep multiple records, and may archive lists from year to year for comparison, travel extensively to see birds, take great care to accurately identify birds they see, and are disappointed when they miss a bird that others have identified.
So the next time you go on a bird walk in Kabini, keep an eye on your fellow guests and try and spot the difference!