Steller's Jay - click to learn more

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Birding in the North America

Bird watching is the fastest growing recreational activity in the world. More people consider themselves birdwatchers than hunters, hikers and even skiers. According to a 2001 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Study, some 46 million Americans considered themselves birders. The average birder was 49 years old with better than average education and income level. 54% of birder were female, with 54% compared with 46% being male, and while some people may assume that birding is an isolated pursuit, some 72% were married.

Interestingly, birding was more popular in the northern U.S. with Montana ranking the highest of all 50 states with 44% of the population considering themselves birders. The lowest number of birders was in Hawaii with only 9% considering themselves birders followed by California with 14%.

For some reason, birding is always compared to golfers. Sure, they both describe what may be described as compulsive behaviours, one requires a huge amount of habitat loss while the other represents a fabulous argument FOR protecting the unique habitats that birds inhabit.

How much impact does birding have on the economy of the United States? Birders contribute some $32 Billion dollars in retail sales annually. This represents the amount of money spent on field guides, binoculars, bird food, houses, boats, transportation, guide costs and other direct birding expenses.

Now for the really big news. That $32 billion dollars generated $85 billion in economic benefits and created 863,406 jobs. 

Learning to identify birds takes patience and perseverance. Many birds, like the black-capped chickadee, the red-tailed hawk and the common loon are known better by their call than their appearance. 

MountainNature.com is focused on becoming the Internet's top location for learning about birds AND for offering you the opportunities to find, see and experience new birds.

Learn the secret skills of birders. Bird watching is a fabulous hobby (some would say lifestyle). This section will help you learn the skills of bird watching. 

Identify a Bird. Mountain Nature Network offers more ways to identify the birds of the Rockies than any other web site. No book can compare with the simplicity you will find here.

Search for recent sightings. Our sightings database allows you to search for sightings of any of our growing list of birds. This can help you reduce the challenge of finding an new species for your life list. 

Record your sightings. Any sighting worth having is also worth recording. Use our interactive sightings database to record your sightings, view your life list and contribute to the work of researchers studying the birds of the Rocky Mountains.

Submit a Rare Bird Report. Have you been lucky enough to see a rare bird? Use this form to submit a report to the researchers responsible for tracking these reports. 

Mountain Nature Network is growing through your input

As you make your way through the Rockies, take time to learn the habits and habitats of the many birds that make this rugged environment home. 

In time, we will be adding sections to this site highlighting key birding locations and special birding events such as the annual Festival of Eagles. Feel free to pass on details of your local birding events for publication on MountainNature.com.

Bird Feeder Watch

While bird feeders are not acceptable in bear country during the summer months, they are quite popular once the bears have headed into the den for the winter. Soon, we'll be adding a section on how to make the most out of winter bird feeders. 

Mountain Chickadee - click to learn more

Read Opinions on Bird Feeder Restrictions. As part of our interactive bear test, users were asked whether they would support restrictions on summer bird feeders - 79% of 577 respondents supported such restrictions! Click to read more