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Research Guides

Noticing birds is the essential first step to becoming a birder. That’s it. From there, the sky's the limit.

- Dr. J. Drew Lanham, Clemson University


Do you travel hundreds of miles to check a bird off your life list? Do you hang a bird feeder outside your window? Do you look up to watch the evening commute of crows?

If you do any of these, you might be a birder or birdwatcher. Some people make distinctions between the terms, but either way the terms describe a person who gains enjoyment from watching or listening to birds.

Birding books, websites, and other media


This is not a comprehensive list--there are many more excellent bird sites on the web.

Birding and race

The past of U.S. birding culture has been predominantly white--an analysis by the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife found that in 2006, 93% of the 47 million birders they counted identified as white. However, its future looks to be more diverse. Scientists (and birders) J. Drew Lanham and John C. Robinson have written on the practical and cultural barriers that result in fewer African-Americans in birding, such as lack of role models and interested peers. Groups such as Outdoor Afro and Latinos Outdoors are working to make outdoor recreation more welcoming to people of color.