Birding As A Competitive Sport

Yay or nay-do birding competitions help or hinder eco-tourism?  I think most birders have at least heard of (if not seen) the movie, “The Big Year”.   If not, you can get it from (my link).

It’s an entertaining film but not my style at all.  It just seemed that all they wanted to do was tick as many birds off a list as possible and beat other birders.  They were all rushing around, tripping over each other and not taking the time to appreciate the birds.

And now there is a new competition in Peru.  Part of it takes place in the Tambopata National Reserve so you can see my posts on how to get there.  Birding Adventures has the video on YouTube.  Interestingly, there are no women on any of the teams, I wonder why?  I see plenty of female birders at eco-lodges.  It did seem that the teams spread out so they weren’t all rushing around the same area at the same time and they did find some fantastic birds as you can see by the video.  The men in the video all seem to be very experienced birders.

What are your opinions of birding as a competitive sport?  Do you think it helps people become better birders and see more birds?  Or do you think it gets people too focused on the competition when they should be appreciating nature?  Please comment below!

  • Kay

    Hi Tara,
    I’ve an off-topic question I’ve had an opportunity to peruse some of your older posts since serendipitously discovering your blog yesterday, and I’ve a question about Peru. I’m thinking of organizing a trip to Peru and I’ve heard great things about Iquitos. Any particular reason you chose to go to Puerto Maldonado instead of Iquitos?
    I’m looking forward to hearing more from you!

    • Hi Kay, sorry I am still new at blogging and learning how to keep all posts on a topic linked so people can find them more easily. This video shows WHY I chose Tambopata over all other birding spots in Peru! And I linked all the other appropriate posts below. I have to go back and do that for all my featured destinations-Peru, Tasmania and Cook Islands. The video also shows why I am not a typical birder with a check list or interested in accumulating “lifers”. I would MUCH rather just sit at a spot like this all day, observing the behaviour, enjoying the antics of the birds and appreciating their beauty and personalities!

      • Kay

        Thanks Tara! That video’s inspiring. Are the macaws easy to spot there?

  • Hi Kay, I will answer on the other thread as we are getting off topic on this one.