Percentage of birders in Australia

To: "'BIRDING-AUS'" <>
Subject: Percentage of birders in Australia
From: "Rosemary Royle" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 19:05:03 -0000
A quick note from the UK - beware of taking the numbers of people who belong to 
the RSPB as a measure of the number of birders. The RSPB is not a "birding 
club" - it is a bird conservation organisation and one of its prime functions 
is to acquire and manage habitat as reserves. These reserves are usually 
managed to make them very accessible to visitors, and provide a good day out 
for anybody more-or-less interested in birds. The annual membership fee is not 
large and provides free access to many reserves, and a good glossy magazine, so 
membership has a financial benefit. Many RSPB members would not describe 
themselves as birders.

The RSPB also runs local groups, which are much more like clubs, but again are 
not really aimed at the serious birder - more the "garden birdwatcher".

"Serious birders" often do not belong to clubs at all (many do not even belong 
to the RSPB which is pretty disgraceful), or belong to local clubs. For 
instance, we belong to the Pembrokeshire Bird Club (though this is a recent 
thing for us, not being very clubby people). But these clubs are finding it 
difficult to keep up membership, for all the reasons mentioned in previous 
mails. Basically you no longer need to go to a club to find out what's going in 
the area, which you probably did have to do only 10 years ago.

In the UK we also have the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) with 13, 000 
members. This organisation carries out a huge amount of scientific fieldwork, 
principally using volunteers. However, many of the volunteers who do the survey 
work are not members so the membership figures are again not really useful!

In summary I would say that there is indeed a high level of general interest in 
birds in the UK, and in wildlife and conservation issues in general, but there 
are probably not as many serious birders as the figures might suggest.

Rosemary Royle

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU