A couple of months ago, in my determined (some might say obsessive) effort to exert some sense of sorely needed structure on this site, I collected all of my Reasons To Become a Bird Watcher posts on to a single page. Too bad I forgot to announce or even link to the new compilation. This oversight might have continued anon if the indefatigable Darren Rowse of ProBlogger hadn’t just announced his fun new Group Writing Project. The theme is ‘LISTS’, the task simply to write a ‘list post’. Just the nudge I needed!

Though my Reasons To Become a Bird Watcher series began three years ago during this blog’s very first week, it is far from finished. Compiling the list below got me thinking of many, many more!

(In no particular order)

1. No Batteries Required
All you really need to go bird watching are eyes and birds. If you want to get fancy, even the best scopes don’t need to be plugged in. A good field guide is also free of electricity demands. Even in a blackout, you can bird to your heart’s content.

2. Birds Are Everywhere You Are
One thing you cannot help in this world is seeing birds. They’re everywhere. Look up, look down, go to the ocean, the mountains, the desert, or the forest and it doesn’t matter; you will see birds.

3. No Regrets!
Time’s a-wasting; get yourself a field guide and binoculars and enjoy the fascinations of nature. If you don’t start watching birds now, you may regret it later.

4. Birding Gets You Out of the House
If you sit on your porch and look up for long enough, you may spot something interesting flying overhead. More than likely, though, all you’ll get for your trouble is a neck cramp. If you want to see birds, you need to meet them in their element.

5. The Thrill of the Hunt
The act of trying to sneak up on a creature with a far greater perceptual range than you’ll ever have feels truly primeval. Your life doesn’t depend on it, but the stakes are still high. One wrong step and the bird will fly, and you may never see that bird again. Terrifying!

6. 81,000,000 Birders Can’t Be Wrong
Are you the type of person who will take up a hobby (or dress funny or jump off a bridge) just because everyone else is doing it? If so, have we got a proposition for you!

7. Cheep Cheep
One of the biggest draws of bird watching as a hobby is its costs, or lack thereof. After all, the main attraction is free! You simply cannot pay a rare species to fly over head, no matter how well-connected you are.

8. The Element Of Surprise
One lesson any observer of the natural world learns quickly is to take nothing for granted. Nature loves to defy all expectations. We cannot predict the inscrutable movements of the natural world with certainty, but we can watch the mysteries unfold.

9. An Invitation To Abundance
To become a birder is to invite abundance into one’s life. The internal transformation that occurs influences perception of the external, turning a world of scarcity to one of variety.

10. Meet The Myths
To a city dweller, spotting an owl in the woods seems as likely as seeing a unicorn. Yet birders do see these magical birds, and many more like them. Become a birder and you will come face to face with the fantastic. When myth meets reality, the real thing is much sweeter.

11. Same, But Different
Westernization is standardization. Everyplace is looking more and more like everyplace else. Yet local species tell the story of a geographical area. If you’re a birder, you can read along.

12. Familiarity Breeds Respect
In your travels, whether you’re looking or not, you’re bound to meet unfamiliar cousins of familiar species. You may want to pay attention. One sparrow is like any other, except where it is not. That’s where birding gets interesting.

To read the full text of each reason, visit our Reasons To Become a Bird Watcher page and for the tongue-in-cheek contrarian position, check out John’s 8 Reasons Not to Start Birding.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.