Who Is the American Bird Watcher?

THERE was a fascinating report released recently by the Outdoor Industry Foundation which profiled the ” American Bird Watcher” as having the following characteristics:

  • Balanced by gender and marital status
  • Just over a third will have children under the age of 18 living in their household
  • Over two-thirds will be over the age of 35 with half over the age of 45
  • Equally distributed across regions
  • More than 8 out of 10 birders will be Caucasian (similar to findings for hunting)
  • Hiking will be the most popular additional outdoor activity
  • Went on bird watching excursions 12 times on average during the year
  • Close to a one-third will limit their activity to only a single outing during the year
  • Only 5 percent will go on 31 or more field trips a year.

Demographically, according to the foundation, the bird watching population has remained very stable over the years, but there has been a recent drop in the number of Americans birding and the number of field trips taken. (2001 had 18.3 million birders taking an average of 31 outings a year; 2005 had 15.6 million birders taking an average of 12 outings per year.)

For more details, see the summary report