Bird Watching or Birding – How They Differ

By August 14, 2019 Bonnet House Blog

Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have large, expansive gardens on our property. In fact, the Bonnet House estate contains five unique ecosystems which showcase some of the last examples of a native barrier island habitat in South Florida. These pristine habitats offer excellent opportunities for our guests to view nature as well as hundreds of beautiful native and migratory birds, among other animal species. For this reason, Bonnet House is a popular place for many South Florida residents and visitors to go bird watching and/or birding. But what exactly is the difference between these two activities?

Although these two activities might seem like the same thing, they are actually quite different. Invision this scenario: you are enjoying a morning cup of coffee by a window while looking out at your back yard. As you gaze out the window, you happen to notice a mother robin feeding her babies in the nest by your window. The act of viewing these birds while sipping your warm coffee is known as bird watching.

On the other hand, birding is a bit more complicated. In order to understand the difference between bird watching and birding, we need to take this scenario a step further. After seeing the robin and her babies, let’s say you decide to take a walk through your yard in the hopes of locating more birds with nests. You even bring your binoculars and a camera so you don’t miss out on any bird photo opportunities. The act of seeking out these birds is known as birding. Bird watching is a passive activity, where birding is much more active. Birding involves actively searching for birds or listening for their calls. Bird watching, on the other hand, involves observing birds when you just happen to see them.

At Bonnet House, we understand that both bird watching and birding are very popular, especially in the South Florida community. Because of this, we have been offering Birding Classes for quite some time now. In these classes guided by expert Paddy Cunningham, guests will learn how to spot birds and identify specific species and behaviors. You’ll have the opportunity to take photographs, view bird watching videos, and even make your own. Classes are typically $20 for members, and $25 for non-members.

If you’d like more information about Bonnet House’s birding classes, or if you would like to simply learn more about birding and bird watching opportunities at Bonnet House, click here!

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