From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 08:37:07 +1000
At 09:48 AM 3/11/2004 +1100, you wrote:
On Wed, Nov 03, 2004 at 08:01:41AM +1100, Lorne Johnson wrote:
> I was birding with Keith Brandwood in western Sydney a while back and
> he mentioned that not many people in Australia go birding. I agreed with
> him. I was then thinking about just how many people do bird in this
> country. Would anyone out there have a rough idea? I know it's a hard
> thing to estimate.

There are said to 2 million birdwatchers among the UK's 60 million people.
If birdwatching were as popular here, there would be 700,000 bird watchers
among  20 million Australian.  If you assume birdwatching is less popular
here, you have an upper bound.  The size of the membership of Birds
Australia (about 10,000?) is a very conservative lower bound.  The number
of copies of field guides such Pizzey&Knight sold would be interesting

Andrew Taylor

Hi Andrew and all others

I think one of the hardest things is to define just what is a "birdwatcher" before you start to count them. There is, of course, a wide spectrum from the professionals to
those people who enjoy the birds in their garden.

I think that the only reasonable way to compare countries/states/cities is to use MEMBERSHIP in the various birdwatching/ornithological clubs, societies and organisations. This means that across the different countries we a looking at a similar group of people who are prepared to PAY an annual subscription to support and be associated with
other birdwatchers.

Their motivation may vary from simple backyard birding to serious twitching
to conservation to scientific research but their common denominator is that they are putting up some money towards that activity. Of course, some keen birders are members of more than one organisation and some keen (?) birders may be members of no organisation
- but that is also going to occur overseas as well.

If we can agree on this definition, then comparisons between the various countries can be made. I don't know what is the current membership of BA and BOCA but Peter Crow put up the numbers for Birds Queensland and I'm sure that other members of birding-aus would have the figures for other organisations, If these were posted up, even as rough estimates, then
 we could directly compare these with figures from other places.

I think that I have heard that membership of the RSPB in the UK is over 1 million If there was a similar proportion of birdwatchers here, we would be looking at a membership of over 300 000. I doubt if there is anything like this but I'd like to see some figures.

Peter Woodall

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