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Observation or identification of wild birds in their natural habitat. Basic equipment includes binoculars, a field guide to aid identification, and a notebook for recording time and place of sightings. The lists of bird observations compiled by members of local bird-watching societies are often useful to scientists in determining dispersal, habitat, and migration patterns of the various species. Bird-watching is primarily a 20th-century phenomenon; before 1900 most students of birds had to shoot them in order to identify them. Its popularity grew through the publication of journals and books, in particular the field guides (beginning in 1934) of Roger Tory Peterson.
Variants of BIRD-WATCHING
bird-watching or birding
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bird-watching, visit Britannica.com.
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