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Bucks in birds: USFWS report on birders

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Birders continue to pour money into the economy, according to a report just released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As a matter of fact, you can call me Bird Boy.

Birdwatchers No Featherweights in Contributions to Economy

A new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows one
of every five Americans watches birds, and in doing so, birdwatchers
contributed $36 billion to the U.S. economy in 2006, the most recent year
for which economic data are available. The report - Birding in the United
States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis -shows that total participation
in birdwatching is strong at 48 million, and remaining at a steady 20
percent of the U.S. population since 1996.

Participation rates vary, but are generally greater in the northern half of
the country. The five top states with the greatest birding participation
rates include Montana (40 percent), Maine (39 percent), Vermont (38
percent), Minnesota (33 percent) and Iowa (33 percent).

The report identifies who birders are, where they live, how avid they are,
and what kinds of birds they watch. In addition to demographic information,
this report also provides an estimate of how much birders spend on their
hobby and the economic impact of these expenditures.

The report is an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting,
and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The 2006 survey is the eleventh in a
series of surveys conducted about every 5 years that began in 1955. The
survey, conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with
state wildlife agencies and national conservation organizations, has become
the reference for participation and expenditure information on fish and
wildlife recreation in the United States. The survey helps quantify how
enjoyment of the outdoors and wildlife contributes to society and promotes
a healthy economy - and further strengthens the Service's commitment to
conserve the nation's wildlife for the enjoyment and benefit of the
American people.

A copy of the Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic
Analysis can be downloaded here:

In conjunction with the release of the birding report, the Service also
issued another similar addendum to the 2006 Survey entitled, Wildlife
Watching Trends: 1991-2006 A Reference Report. This report shows similar
trends in wildlife-watching, a broader category that includes large and
small-mammal viewing.

An overview of the Survey, and a wealth of other information, can be found
online at:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to
conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for
the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and
trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific
excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated
professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our
work and the people who make it happen, visit

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1 Comment

Thanks for posting the links to the reports. Interesting statistics about wildlife watching and the dollars spent on it.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 15, 2009 10:39 AM.

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