A man birdwatching with his binoculars.

What Are Bird Watcher’s Called? (Your Complete Guide!)

Welcome to our exciting exploration of the world of bird watching! Have you ever wondered, what are bird watcher’s called? Well, get ready to dive into the fascinating world of avian enthusiasts, where we uncover the various names and terms associated with this beloved hobby.

Whether you’re a seasoned birding hobbyist or just curious about the world of bird watching, this article will provide you with a deeper understanding of the different names and terminology used in the birding community.

As birdwatching enthusiasts, also known as birding hobbyists or avian observers, we are passionate about observing birds in their natural habitats.

From marveling at their vibrant plumage to delighting in their melodious songs, bird watching offers us a unique opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of our feathered friends.

But what exactly are we called? Let’s dive in and find out!

Key Takeaways:

  • Bird watchers are known by different names, including birding enthusiastsbirding hobbyists, and avian observers.
  • Ornithologists are professional bird watchers who study birds for scientific purposes.
  • Twitchers are avid bird watchers who travel long distances to spot rare birds.
  • Birding has a rich history, dating back to the Victorian Era, and has become a global hobby.
  • Bird watchers rely on tools such as binoculars, field guides, and bird song apps to enhance their birdwatching experience.
What Are Bird Watcher's Called

What Are Bird Watcher’s Called?

Birdwatching is a widely enjoyed hobby, with enthusiasts commonly referred to as birdwatchers, twitchers, or birders. While often pursued by amateurs, the scientific discipline dedicated to the study of birds is known as ornithology, and professionals engaged in this field are termed ornithologists.

Different Names for Bird Watchers

Bird watchers, also known as avian enthusiasts, are called by various names depending on their level of knowledge and involvement in the activity. Let’s explore these different titles:

Ornithology Enthusiasts

Ornithologists are professional bird watchers who study birds for scientific purposes. They utilize formal scientific methods to conduct research and gather data about bird species. Their work often contributes to our understanding of avian biology, behavior, and ecological roles. 

Ornithology enthusiasts follow in the footsteps of these professionals and have a deep passion for studying and observing birds. They may participate in citizen science projects and collaborate with experts in the field.

Birding Enthusiasts

Birding enthusiasts are committed hobbyists who invest time, effort, and resources into their birdwatching activities. They take their passion to the next level by immersing themselves in the birding community.

These enthusiasts actively seek out opportunities to connect with other bird watchers, join birding clubs or societies, and participate in organized birding events.

They often invest in quality equipment and tools to enhance their birdwatching experience, such as high-quality binoculars, telescopes, and field guides.


Twitchers are a special breed of bird watchers who go to great lengths to spot rare species. They are known for their willingness to travel long distances, sometimes across continents, just to catch a glimpse of a rare bird.

Twitching is often associated with the thrill of the chase, and these dedicated bird watchers maintain extensive records of their sightings.

The term “twitching” originated in the UK in the 1950s and has since been adopted by bird watchers worldwide to describe this intense pursuit of rare birds.

In summary, whether you call them ornithology enthusiastsbirding enthusiasts, or twitchers, the common thread among all these bird watchers is their passion for avian observation.

Each name represents a different aspect of birdwatching, from scientific research to intense pursuit of rare birds.

Engaging in birdwatching not only provides enjoyment but also contributes to our understanding of bird species and their conservation.

So, no matter what title you choose, bird watching is a rewarding and enriching hobby that connects us with the beauty and wonder of the avian world.

Exploring Bird Watching Terminology

In the world of bird watching, there are various terms that enthusiasts use to describe themselves and their activities. Let’s take a closer look at the terminology commonly associated with bird watching.

Birdwatching Enthusiasts

Birdwatching enthusiasts are individuals who have a deep passion for observing and studying birds. They engage in this hobby for personal enjoyment and appreciation of avian beauty. Birdwatchers often spend hours patiently observing birds in their natural habitats, using binoculars or telescopes to get a closer look.

They may also rely on bird song apps or field guides to help identify different species. Birdwatching enthusiasts may participate in bird counts, contribute data to citizen science projects, and join local birding clubs to connect with fellow bird lovers.


Unlike birdwatching enthusiasts, ornithologists are professionals who study birds using scientific methods. They conduct research, collect data, and analyze bird behavior, ecology, and evolution.

Ornithologists work in various fields such as academia, wildlife conservation, and government agencies. Their expertise contributes to our understanding of avian species and helps inform conservation efforts.

Avian Enthusiasts and Bird Lovers

The terms “avian enthusiasts” and “bird lovers” encompass a broader group of individuals who appreciate birds in different ways. Avian enthusiasts may have a general interest in birds and enjoy watching them casually. They may visit bird sanctuaries, gardens, or nature reserves to observe birds and learn about their behaviors. 

Bird lovers, on the other hand, have a strong emotional connection to birds and may have pet birds or support bird conservation organizations. Both avian enthusiasts and bird lovers contribute to the overall appreciation and conservation of bird species.

Table: Different Bird Watching Terminology

Birdwatching EnthusiastsAmateurs who engage in birdwatching as a hobby for personal enjoyment and social interaction.
OrnithologistsProfessionals who study birds using scientific methods, contributing to our understanding of bird species.
Avian EnthusiastsIndividuals with a general interest in birds, observing them casually and appreciating their beauty.
Bird LoversIndividuals with a strong emotional connection to birds, supporting bird conservation efforts and may have pet birds.
A group of Birdwatching Enthusiasts.

As you can see, bird watching terminology encompasses a diverse range of individuals, from passionate birdwatching enthusiasts to dedicated ornithologists.

Whether you’re a casual observer or a scientific researcher, the love for birds unites us all in our shared appreciation for these fascinating creatures.

The World of Twitchers

Twitching, also known as bird spotting, is a fascinating aspect of birdwatching that attracts nature lovers and avid bird watchers. It involves the pursuit of rare and elusive bird species to add them to one’s birding list.

Twitchers are known for their dedication and willingness to travel long distances in search of these remarkable birds.

The term “twitcher” originated in the 1950s in the UK and is often associated with competitive birdwatching. These passionate bird spotters have their own vocabulary and engage in various activities to maximize their chances of seeing rare birds.

To maintain exclusivity and increase their chances of spotting a rarity, twitchers may even suppress news of rare bird sightings.

Twitchers form a vibrant community of bird enthusiasts who share a deep love for these extraordinary creatures. They undertake challenging birding expeditions, often bonding with fellow twitchers along the way.

The thrill of spotting a rare bird and the satisfaction of adding it to their list is what keeps twitchers motivated and excited about their hobby.

Table: A Comparison of Bird Watchers and Twitchers

Bird WatchersTwitchers
Primary FocusEnjoyment of birdwatching as a hobbyPursuit of rare bird species
TravelMay explore local birding spotsWilling to travel long distances
CommunityEngage in birding clubs and societiesForm tight-knit communities of like-minded individuals

The Fascination of Birding

Birding, also known as bird watching, has captivated the hearts of bird enthusiasts around the world for centuries. This popular hobby allows us to connect with nature and appreciate the diverse beauty of avian species.

From the Victorian Era in Britain to the rise of ornithology studies, birding has evolved into a global pursuit that continues to inspire and unite birding hobbyists and ornithology enthusiasts alike.

During the Victorian Era, the study of natural history gained popularity, leading to increased interest in bird observation. As a result, the protection of birds and their habitats became a significant focus.

The publication of the first field guide in the US in 1889 further facilitated bird identification, making it more accessible to bird watchers.

In the late 1930s, the British Trust for Ornithology played a crucial role in organizing and connecting bird watchers in the UK. Today, birding has become a global phenomenon, attracting bird enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Whether we engage in birding for leisure, scientific purposes, or to simply revel in the wonders of avian life, the fascination of birding knows no bounds.

A group of people bird-watching.
BirdingA popular hobby that involves observing and studying birds for leisure or scientific purposes.
OrnithologyThe scientific study of birds, including their behavior, habitats, and evolutionary history.
Birding EnthusiastAn individual who is deeply passionate about bird watching, often investing in specialized equipment and participating in birding activities.
Birding SocietyAn organized group of bird watchers that fosters community, knowledge sharing, and conservation efforts.

Tools of the Trade for Bird Watchers

Bird watching is a captivating hobby that allows us to connect with nature and explore the fascinating world of avian species. To enhance our birdwatching experience, we rely on a variety of tools and equipment.

From essential gear like binoculars and field guides to innovative digital resources, these tools play a crucial role in our quest to spot and identify different bird species.

One essential tool for every bird watcher is a high-quality pair of binoculars or a telescope. These optical devices allow us to observe birds from a distance, bringing them closer and helping us to appreciate their intricate details.

With the right magnification and field of view, we can enjoy a more immersive and rewarding birdwatching experience.

Another indispensable tool is a reliable field guide. These books provide detailed information about various bird species, helping us to identify them based on their physical characteristics, habitat, and behaviors.

Field guides are invaluable references that aid us in distinguishing between similar-looking bird species and expanding our knowledge of avian life.

As we venture into the field, it’s important to protect ourselves from the elements. A birding vest and a brimmed hat provide practicality and protection. These accessories allow us to carry essential items like a notepad, bird checklist, and snacks, while also shielding us from the sun and rain.

By staying comfortable and prepared, we can fully immerse ourselves in the birding experience.

Technology has also revolutionized birdwatching. Birdsong apps enable us to learn and recognize bird calls and songs, enhancing our ability to identify different species by their vocalizations.

Moreover, digital platforms and websites connect us with the birding community, enabling us to share sightings, find local birding hotspots, and learn from fellow bird enthusiasts.

Birding tools at a glance:

Binoculars/TelescopeOptical devices for observing birds from a distance.
Field GuideReference book containing information about bird species.
Birding VestPractical attire for carrying essential items in the field.
Brimmed HatProtective headwear against the sun and rain.
Birdsong AppApplications to learn and identify bird calls and songs.
Digital PlatformsWebsites and online communities for sharing and learning.


As bird watchers, birding hobbyists, and ornithology enthusiasts, we are fascinated by the world of avian observation. Throughout this article, we have explored the different names for individuals who engage in birdwatching, from the professionals known as ornithologists to the avid travelers known as twitchers. Each term carries its own unique connotation and represents a distinct aspect of the birding community.

While the terminology may vary, what unites us is our shared love for birds and our dedication to the hobby. Whether we prefer to be called birdwatchers, birders, twitchers, or birding enthusiasts, our passion for observing and appreciating avian life remains the same. We immerse ourselves in the fascinating world of birding, using specialized tools and techniques to enhance our experiences.

Birdwatching terminology plays an integral role in our community, allowing us to communicate and connect with fellow bird lovers. From identifying bird species and recording observations to sharing stories and knowledge, these terms facilitate our interactions and strengthen our bonds. Together, we contribute to the conservation of bird species and deepen our connection with the natural world.

So whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or just starting out, embrace the birding terms that resonate with you. Join us in the exciting journey of discovery, as we continue to explore the beauty and wonder of the avian world.


What are bird watchers called?

Bird watchers are known by different names depending on their level of involvement and knowledge. They may be called birding enthusiasts, birdwatching hobbyists, or avian observers.

What is the difference between bird watchers and ornithologists?

Ornithologists are professionals who study birds using scientific methods, while bird watchers are amateurs who engage in birdwatching as a recreational activity or hobby.

What is the term for avid bird watchers who travel long distances to spot rare birds?

Avid bird watchers who travel long distances to spot rare birds are often referred to as twitchers or bird spotters.

What is the history of bird watching?

Bird watching has been a popular hobby for centuries, gaining popularity during the Victorian Era in Britain. The earliest field guide in the US was published in 1889, and organized birdwatching began in the late 1930s in the UK under the British Trust for Ornithology.

What tools do bird watchers use?

Bird watchers rely on various tools to enhance their birdwatching experience, including binoculars, telescopes, field guides, bird song apps, and journals for recording observations.

How does bird watching contribute to conservation?

Bird watching fosters a deeper connection with nature and raises awareness about bird species. Many bird watchers actively support conservation efforts and contribute valuable data as citizen scientists.

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  • Vince S

    Meet Vince, the passionate founder and author of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. As a dedicated moderator and contributor to Quora's Bird Watchers' Club, he actively engages with the birding community, where his insightful answers have garnered over 440,000 views and over 2,670 upvotes. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service.