The following link was posted to the Iowa list:
It indicates that the number of birders in the U.S. is huge (82 million). It breaks them down into three activity classes with "Enthusiasts" being the most active class. I was surprised to learn that the class, Enthusiasts, is as large as it is. Also, that Enthusiasts do 91 per cent of the birding, as it is defined by the survey.
The foregoing said, I question the survey's definition of  "birder" -- i.e. someone who answers yes to the question, "During the past 12 months, did you view, identify or photograph birds outdoors?" If you did that on 1 to six days, you were classified as an "Occasional" birder. If 7 to 60 days, you were an "Active" birder. 61 to 365 days made you an "Enthusiast."
My problem with the survey question is that it is hard to be outside the house for more than a few minutes without viewing a bird, whether or not it interests you. I can imagine some "yes" answers being the equivalent of  a "yes" answer to the question, "In the past 12 months, did you go outside the house?"
I would be interested to know how many people use binoculars and/or bird books to identify birds.
Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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