Bird watching has become a sport that has been around for many years. Also known as "birding" people of many ages enjoy this fascinating hobby. People of all ages enjoy searching for birds in their region, watching them in their natural habitat and enjoying listening to the different songs.
The sights and sounds of nature are very familiar to the keen eyes and ears of a bird watcher. By catching a one-second glimpse of a bird darting through the woods along with a musical note sounding like only a "chirp" a bird watcher can tell you the general species of the bird and even narrow it down to the exact bird.
With the many species of birds found in Knysna, birders must quickly be able to distinguish birds by analysing a lot of information such as call notes, colour patterns, and the shape of their wings and bills. It takes an observant person to see a strange bird and analyse how the bird moves, flies and reacts in its environment. Many months of hard work is what it takes for a beginner bird watcher to grasp the techniques and be able to distinguish one bird from the next. Like learning an instrument, patience is the key and most important of all being able to enjoy the scenery and beauty of bird watching.
Why are so many people fascinated with birds even to the point of spending long hours watching them? Birds have long delighted people all over the world because of their beauty and power of flight. There are thousands of species all unique, mysterious and beautiful to the human eye. Historically, the Romans believed the flight and calls of birds could foretell the future. Today modern science uses birds and changes in their health and population as warnings of problems in their environment.
Watching birds helps people understand the fascination of how they relate to nature. We watch birds with interest partly because of how accessible they are. Wherever we go they are there, and we share the environment with birds more than any other creature except insects. One reason people are compelled to watch birds is because of how amazingly different they are from one area to the next. You may find the same species of birds from one country to the next but notice they are entirely different in looks and the way they interact with the environment.