Birds are essential part of forest nature.
Birdwatching is one of the most popular nature-related hobbies; it provides hobbyists with enough challenges to last a lifetime. Anyone can start birdwatching. The equipment you need to get started are simple and affordable. For beginners, binoculars and a bird identification field guide are often enough.
According to a species listing from 2014, there are over 10 000 known bird species in the world. In Finland, 478 different species have been observed and registered by 2018. On top of the vast diversity of species, birds often change their plumage according to their age and the season, so there’s a lot to learn about them. And it is not all about seeing them – birds can be observed by listening to their calls as well.
Birdwatching can be practised in several ways. Besides observing them, one can also engage in photography, wintertime feeding, bird twitching (spotting rare species), bird ringing (tagging birds to identify and follow them) and other ornithological studies. Amateur hobbyists play a significant role in collecting data for scientific studies.
Like other animals, bird species have adapted to different habitats. The big difference, of course, is that birds have a wider range. Many migratory birds travel thousands of kilometres regularly between their breeding areas and wintering grounds. Big migrations are fascinating plays of nature that many bird enthusiasts follow along popular migration routes.
As with most hobbies, there is a social aspect to birdwatching for those who want it. Joining local bird associations is great opportunity to get to know other people that share your interest and participate in group activities. On the other hand, going solo to observe birdlife in peaceful natural settings is a great way to detach yourself from the stress of everyday life.