‘You can really start birdwatching in your backyard, and from there the sky’s the limit’

  • Lise Kjølsrød
Part of the Leisure Studies in a Global Era book series (LSGE)


Observing wild birds has been an attractive recreational interest for more than a century. Today, millions worldwide enjoy this activity. With the help of a widespread net of amateurs, professional ornithology provides an understanding of birds’ life cycles, interrelationships with the wider environment, and much more. An historic alliance between players and professionals has contributed to growth of strong organizations, and gradually pulled individual birdwatchers into wider scientific and political engagements. In later decades, major ornithological organizations have given themselves a broadened mandate, penetrated by concerns for wildlife and biodiversity more widely, and thereby increasingly politicized birders’ territory. New technology, combined with the widespread use of small digital appliances, apps, and interactive databases make the activity more popular, and augment new scenarios for citizen science.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lise Kjølsrød
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Human GeographyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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