Broadcast Audubon

Bird Watching is a Booming International Business Opportunity

Bird WatchingBird watching and birding is a booming international business opportunity that attracts low volume, low impact and high return visitors that boost rural tourism economies and support jobs in rural areas. Bird watching and birding remains one of world’s leading recreational activities. With more accessible birding and bird watching destinations available, there has been a massive increase in the number of internationally itinerant bird watching and birding tourists traveling the world in search of birds to tick off the "life" list.

According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study, birdwatchers contributed with 36 billion dollars to the US economy 2006, and one fifth (20%) of all Americans are identified as birdwatchers.

North American birders were estimated to have spent as much as  32 billion US Dollars in 2001. The spending is on the rise around the world too. Kuşcenneti National Park (KNP) at Lake Manyas, a Ramsar site in Turkey was estimated to attract birders who spent as much as $103,320,074 (U.S. dollars) annually.  Guided bird tours have become a major business with at least 127 companies offering tours worldwide. An average trip to a less-developed country costs $4000 per person and includes about 12 participants for each of 150 trips a year. It has been suggested that this economic potential needs to be tapped for conservation.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nearly a third of Americans age 16 and older (that’s 70 million people!) fed, photographed, and observed wildlife in 2006, and they spent $45 billion doing so!

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2006 survey, the number of wildlife watchers has grown by 8% since 2001 and spending on bird food and wildlife-watching equipment such as binoculars, cameras, and bird feeders has risen by 18%.

In the US over 47.7 million birders on average spent part of 115 days in 2006 pursuing their interest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2006 survey defines two wildlife-watching categories: around the home and more than a mile from home. Eighty-eight percent of birders (almost 42 million) observe birds around the home, while 42 percent (almost 20 million) take birding trips.

Wildlife watching in the US is most popular in the West-North-Central region (the Dakotas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska) and New England. The West-North-Central region also leads in away-from-home watching.

Females participate more than males in around-the-home wildlife watching (54 vs. 46 percent), while males participate more than females in away-from-home watching (51 vs. 49 percent). Wildlife watching is most popular among people age 35 to 64. Wildlife watchers tend to be urban, college educated, and high-earning.


SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Critter of the Season - The Black Capped Chickadee


A bird almost universally considered “cute” thanks to its oversized round head, tiny body, and curiosity about everything, including humans. The chickadee’s black cap and bib; white cheeks; gray back, wings, and tail; and whitish underside with buffy sides are distinctive. Its habit of investigating people and everything else in its home territory, and quickness to discover bird feeders, make it one of the first birds most people learn.

Size & Shape
This tiny bird has a short neck and large head, giving it a distinctive, rather spherical body shape. It also has a long, narrow tail and a short bill a bit thicker than a warbler’s but thinner than a finch’s.

Color Pattern
The cap and bib are black, the cheeks white, the back soft gray, the wing feathers gray edged with white, and the underparts soft buffy on the sides grading to white beneath. The cap extends down just beyond the black eyes, making the small eyes tricky to see.

Black-capped Chickadees seldom remain at feeders except to grab a seed to eat elsewhere. They are acrobatic and associate in flocks—the sudden activity when a flock arrives is distinctive. They often fly across roads and open areas one at a time with a bouncy flight

Chickadees may be found in any habitat that has trees or woody shrubs, from forests and woodlots to residential neighborhoods and parks, and sometimes weedy fields and cattail marshes. They frequently nest in birch or alder trees.  


References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:
Audubon Lifestyles 
The International Sustainability Council 
The Cornell Lab

Small Business Trends              

Sanford Golf Design

Scotland Yards Golf Club


Turf Feeding Systems

Love and Dodson              

The Dodson Group      

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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