Number of birdwatchers in Australia

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Number of birdwatchers in Australia
From: "Kurtis Lindsay" <>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 20:01:06 +1100
I being in those teenage years at the moment can support the fact there is a
lack of interest in birdwatching,
however I think one of the main reasons for this is in the up-bringing.

At school I often get approached by other  kids (sometimes even teachers)
with questions like "whats that loud bird I get in my backyard around summer
or "what is the difference between a Magpie and Currawong?" and I gladly
respond to their questions with as much detail as possible
without rambling on for to long. After my explanation, I often get the reply
" I never knew that" and
I think to my self, if they can't tell a Rosella from a Lorikeet then what
DO they know about nature and their local natural environment? (9/10 times
it is a big fat 0).

The reasons for this un-awareness or perceived dis-interest can be mostly
blamed on the upbringing, if the parents can't teach their children the
then who will teach these children that the Cormorant swimming in their
local lake ISN'T A DUCK?
Thats why I beleive it is important for us birders and true
environmentalists to pass on our knowledge of the birds and
other creatures and their environments to as many young people as possible
so when they older, start a familly and go to the local lakeside
to feed  the ducks with their own children they can point out that black
and white submarine-shaped
bird and tell their kids that it isn't a duck but a Little Pied Cormorant.

When we can pass on a little bit of interest we can help convince the
public and the other "un-educated" environmentalists that conservation isn't
just a word used by tree-hugging vegetarians, it is a movement which we all
must support in order to keep the amazing array of wildlife around us.

Contrary to what some have said on this thread  about dropping interests in
bird watching in order to become "cool" (upon reaching the teenage years),
this is not entirely true.
In my opinion, those who are into the past time enough to spend any time on
their weekends at a young age, undertaking their hobby or reading about it,
will usually have the interest to hold onto it and perhaps even find a
career in it in future.

I myself have never been overlly interested in sports but have always had an
interest in animals, particularly birds and yet I still keep a healthy
physical lifestyle by "hitting the bush" with my binos in hot pursuit of an
unusual sighting and retain healthy social relationships with my peers (even
to the extent of being "cool" and avoiding "nerd" status).

At times social events and or study can get in the way of a  good bird
focused weekend but people often forget that you don't have to be on a
specific "bird outing" to go birding.
I fact I find that I am birding all the time (even while sitting at the
computer with my window open right now I am birding) for I am always
identifying  calls outside or watching white dots high up in a warm
afternoon sky.

Recently I was watching a small flcok of White-throated Needletail swimming
through the sky, and when a friend asked me what I was looking at, I
explained what they were and how they got there and my friend replied "wow
thats amazing, I always thought they were just pigeons".


Kurtis Lindsay

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