13 Reasons Why Bird Watching Is An Awful Lot Of Fun

Bird watching carries a certain stigma; it’s often thought of as being creepy or nerdy or as an activity reserved for old boring people. All of this could not be further from the truth. In this article, you will discover 13 reasons why bird watching is a lot of fun for people of all ages.

I have been guilty of thinking some negative things about bird watching too. However, the more time I have spent doing the activity, the more it fascinates and excites me. Birds are magical to watch and there is an endless amount of things to learn from them. Let’s get into the 13 reasons why bird watching is fun.

1. You Get To Spend Time In Nature

There is nothing like getting out into nature; breathing fresh air, and discovering new sights and sounds. When you bird watch, you get to spend time in nature and experience all the benefits of it.

a tropical rainforest with tall trees, tree ferns and palms
The Wedding Bells State Forest in Woolgoolga, NSW, Aus. – image by Barry Callister Photography.

Birds live in all different kinds of habitats and landscapes. When you go bird watching, there are always new sceneries to see and adventures to have. Not only that but you also get to hear other animals and more sounds of nature that relax you and make you feel good.

2. It Relieves Stress

If you are stressed out from everyday life, a good bird watching session will fix you right up. This has something to do with getting out into nature which has been proven to relieve stress.

Watching birds takes your mind off anything else you might have been thinking about; adding to the stress relief. You can become so immersed in it that hours will pass without you knowing.

Discover how to start bird watching in this post here on the site.

3. Birds Can Be Hilarious

Birds are so funny to watch. They move in strange ways, react to things around them in bizarre ways, and do things that make you laugh out loud wondering why the heck they did that!

three Silver Gulls arguing on the sand at the beach
Silver Gulls arguing – image by Barry Callister Photography.

Bird watching is like viewing an impromptu comedy performance where no one knows what they’re doing or what will come next.

4. You Can Spend Time Alone

If you are like me and would rather be on your own than with others most of the time, bird watching is great. You can get out there into nature and spend time with the birds.

This gives you time to think and sort through any problems you may be having and I guarantee you will come back feeling better than when you left.

Birds (unlike humans) keep to themselves most of the time – if you don’t bother them, they will not bother you.

5. You Can Meet New People

Bird watching can be a group activity if you want it to be. You can join a club or local group and meet new people who share your love of birds.

Many lifelong friendships have been formed through days spent watching birds. People from all walks of life enjoy bird watching and each of them has their own stories to tell.

a group of bird watchers walking in a field with birds flying all around
A group of birdwatchers – image by pelicankate from Getty Images Signature.

6. Using The Equipment Is Fun

You can bird watch without any equipment but using binoculars, a spotting scope, or a camera brings the birds closer and makes it more interesting.

It’s fun learning about all the different types of equipment and how to use them. You also gain a sense of satisfaction from this as you are learning a new skill. You can also pass these skills on to others which is a great way to meet new people.

Discover the equipment needed for bird watching in this article.

7. Learning To Identify Birds Is A Fun Challenge

Bird watching is fun even if you don’t bother to try and identify which birds you are seeing. Learning to identify each species can be fun too and is definitely a challenge.

You can use field guidebooks to help you do this but using smartphone apps is much more enjoyable. There are great apps out there that can identify birds from a picture or by their calls; making a quick ID super-easy.

8. Listening To The Birds Is Relaxing

Birds make a myriad of sounds and they are beautiful, musical, weird, and fascinating. Listening to the sounds that birds make is very relaxing. It can also be intriguing when you hear a strange bird call off in the distance and can’t quite figure out or find what is making the sound.

a White-bellied Sea Eagle perched in a gum tree with it's head up and beak open
A White-bellied Sea Eagle screeching high in a gum tree – image by Barry Callister Photography.

Bird calls can also be confusing as in the case of the White-bellied Sea Eagle in the image above. These large birds are found in Australia, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and New Guinea. Their call is very like a goose honking and certainly not a sound you would expect from such a bird.

White-bellied Sea Eagle – recorded by Greg McLachlan at Pitt Town Lagoon, New South Wales, Aus. Shared from xeno-canto.org.

The positive effects of listening to bird songs are proven by the success of the 2021 album Songs Of Disappearance. This Australian bird song album debuted at number 5 on the ARIA charts and made it to number 2; proving that a lot of people love listening to birds.

9. There Are Endless Birds To See

There are over 11, 000 species of bird in the world – more than any one person can see in their lifetime. Each time you go out bird watching you may come across another type of bird you have never seen before.

Forget sitting in front of the television watching predictable shows with cliché upon cliché; bird watching is new, exciting, and unpredictable every time. Every episode might have a twist you did not see coming.

Bald Eagles and other birds on a mostly frozen lake
Bald Eagles and other birds at a mostly frozen lake – image by John Morisson from Getty Images Signature.

See some birds you won’t believe exist in this post here on my blog.

10. You Can Learn So Much From Birds

With so many birds in the world, there is an endless amount of things to learn about them. You really could spend a lifetime studying and learning their behaviors.

I can tell you from the hours I have spent researching birds for Birdwatch World that the more you learn, the more you uncover. From the unique to the completely bizarre; there is so much joy in learning about birds.

11. The Fun Can Turn Into An Obsession

Once you start bird watching and recording your sightings, you can quickly become obsessed. What starts as a casual activity or an excuse to get out into nature can turn into a “collect them all” mentality.

a man bird watching on the edge of a frozen sea
An obsessed bird watcher on the edge of a frozen sea – image by visualspace from Getty Images Signature.

It is possibly the obsessed birders that have given bird watching a bad name. I’m talking about those people who will go to extreme lengths to see and record as many species as possible in their lives. You may think it illogical to spend hours and hours and multiple thousands of dollars searching the world for one particular bird species.

Once you get into bird watching, you may change your mind as a niggling urge to find a Painted Bunting or a Stresemann’s Bristlefront suddenly sneaks up on you. Before you know it, you’ll have booked a flight to some wild and remote place to spend weeks scouring the jungle for a fleeting glimpse.

12. You Can Get Great Photos Of Birds

If you add photography to your bird watching activities, you can come home with some amazing photos. I call myself a bird photographer more than a bird watcher and I have gathered many great images during my years of birding.

Having a camera with a long zoom lens also gives you a closer view of the birds too. Just make sure you have a camera with a silent shutter, otherwise, you may upset some of the die-hard birders by scaring away the birds.

Taking photos is always loads of fun. Bird photography presents some challenges that can make it even more satisfying when you get it right.

Find out what camera you would need for bird photography here in this post.

13. It Is Unpredictable

You never know what might happen when birding. Not only can the birds surprise you with mind-blowing behavior but you are also at the mercy of the weather which can do anything at any moment.

An Osprey flying off with a fish it just caught – image by Barry Callister Photography.

You can’t predict what will happen each time you go out bird watching. You may walk for hours to a spot only to find that there are no birds to be seen. Alternatively, you might be on your way to a certain place and stumble across a bird or birds that you never expected to see.

I took the image above during a trip to a local general store to get lunch. While driving down the street to the store, I noticed this bird off in the distance. I recognized it instantly as an Osprey but I was overjoyed to see that it was hunting.

I drove right past the general store, pulled up at the beach, and rushed down to the sand with my camera. The osprey hunted for about ten minutes, undisturbed by my presence. When it clutched this fish from the breaking waves near the shoreline, I was perhaps 10 meters away. I will never forget seeing such an incredible thing up so close.

It’s not only birds that you will see either. Other wildlife will show up and you never know what it might do either.

a carpet python resting on a log
A Carpet Python I found one day while bird watching – image by Barry Callister Photography.

In my opinion, there is nothing like being a witness to amazing moments in nature. Whether it is the heart-pounding thrill of a bird hunting another animal or a tender moment between a mother bird and her chicks. Moments like these leave you feeling humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude just to have been present. It can take your breath away.


There you have it; thirteen reasons why bird watching is fun. These are reasons why I like it but there may be many more reasons why other people enjoy the activity. Until you try it, you have no idea how much fun it might be.

If you want to get into bird watching, read the articles below to learn more about it:

The information in the articles listed above will tell you all you need to know about how to get started, the equipment you will need, and how to find birds to watch.

Nikon Prostaff 3S binoculars laying on a log at the beach
Nikon Prostaff 3S binoculars – my binoculars of choice.

As with anything else, it’s possible that bird watching might not be for you. I urge you to give it a try though, even for the sake of getting out into nature for a bit of relaxation and destressing.

Don’t be put off that others will think you are creepy or nerdy, there are many famous actors and world-renowned musicians that bird watch. It’s also an activity for people of any age, so don’t think that you are too young or too old.

Give it a try and I might even see you out there sometime.


Barry Callister

Barry is a bird photographer and bird watcher with over 7 years of experience. He runs his own YouTube channel about photography and promotes his nature photography on his personal website barrycallisterphotography.com.au.

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