FW: Birdwatchers No Featherweights inContributionsto Economy

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: FW: Birdwatchers No Featherweights inContributionsto Economy
From: David Adams <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 15:43:28 +1100
There was a bit of a thread last July regarding the economic benefits
of attracting birders and the number of birders out there. It kicked
off from a link to a report in the US that estimated some huge number
of people there are 'birders'. At the time, I was scathingly skeptical
about some of the numbers. Since then, I've had cause to revise my
opinion a bit. One of my neighbors decided to start up a U3A chapter
here (around Bermagui, NSW - far south coast). Even though I'm not
technically old enough to be in U3A, I put my hand up to lead some
bird walks and talk about birds and birding. To my surprise, this
course generated more interest than any other offering. This has
_nothing_ to do with me as I doubt anyone knew who I was and the
course description was something like one sentence long. We ended up
having four walks over the past couple of months and a few things
stood out:

* I met new people each time.

* There were a _lot_ of people in the area with binoculars, knowledge,
and interest.

* There are clearly a lot more birders out there than I'd ever guessed.

I figured I should say something about this as I'd been fairly
outspoken about the unlikeliness of some of the numbers proposed for
birders as an economic/tourist force. I'm still skeptical of huge
numbers...but less so.

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