Bird Watching A Hobby Or Profession – How You Make Money

Fluttering creatures flapping their wings and wheezing past. You take the time to watch them fly by and feel at ease.

Birds are indeed fascinating creatures to watch. These feathered friends are pleasant to the eyes and a treat to the ears. But bird watching is mostly done as a hobby for most. But the good news is that you can easily turn this into a profession. All it takes is dedication, enthusiasm, hard work and some love for the birdies out there.

According to the National Survey by the US, around forty-five million people are involved in bird watching.

Is Bird Watching Only A Hobby?

If you ask normal bird watchers, the majority of them will tell you they do it because it’s fun. But the elite and true bird watchers know that it’s not as simple as that. Serious bird watchers don’t only look at birds all day but they also track their emigration and immigration patterns and focus on identifying their habitats. It’s not only just a hobby; it’s a passion.

Bird watching is fairly convenient and attainable to the public. It’s simple, straightforward and not to mention enjoyable.

Different groups of people tend to enjoy bird watching in various ways. Some are more nonchalant about it while others go to deep lengths to fulfill their bird watching needs. 

There are ways to get the most out of bird watching, but, for a beginner, he or she just needs their own pair of eyes to start this off. The first step would be to head out of your house and go to a nearby area where birds are likely to fly across.

And once you turn pro, you’ll be able to use a field guide to comprehend more about the changing migration patterns and their habitats. Many bird watchers like to put attractions, such as bird baths and feeders in their backyards which are prone to catch the attention of local birds. They would then come to visit these bird watchers.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that these bird watchers just wait for their avian friends to show up one day in their backyard. In most cases, bird watchers are known to equip themselves with binoculars and other bird-watching tools. 

They will then venture out into the forest and wait for the opportunity to spot and look at those feathered buddies who wouldn’t come to their backyard. I would even go as far as to call it the ultimate life-long passion project.

Before that, there are many things one needs to get educated in. And not to mention strange equipment that you need to be familiar with. And once you have all those covered, a career in bird watching is just waiting in the corner.

How Can Bird Watching Be A Profession?

Many would argue bird watching can never be a full-time profession. But the truth is that there are countless opportunities for a career in bird watching, also known as the field of ornithology. If you get trained or train yourselves to identify birds by their chirps and get a thorough understanding of their livelihood, you could very well become a professional.

Now whether you wish to continue your studies and get more in-depth knowledge on ornithology is completely up to you. If you meet the criteria of being a professional bird-watcher, you can easily get a job that will complement your love for the birds.

But first, there are a few things one must consider. One of them being the fact that not everyone has the means to pursue a degree of any sort. Nor does everyone have the income to climb on top of the educational wall. With that in mind, we can’t just get past the idea that those who’re struggling financially cannot become professional bird watchers.

Life throws its share of obstacles and excruciating hurdles, which are at times, difficult to overcome. But once we realize our own potential, there is nothing that we can’t fight through. And there are numerous ways to become a professional bird watcher even if you don’t have a ton of cash.

In this modern age, the internet is just one click away. If you wish to pursue this seriously, there are various programs online which will offer you courses, whose aim will be to familiarize you with the whole concept of ornithology and how to pursue that knowledge and turn it into a profession. 

Not only will you just get to understand their complex habitat but you’ll also be able to distinguish the role of biology in their livelihood and how they thrive in their magical world. You’ll know what it takes to be a professional bird watcher.

And after you’re done with the program, you’ll receive your certificate and then be eligible to apply for jobs all around. During that period, you might just be able to find yourself in an amazing group with bright and diversified individuals who are just as enthusiastic about the program as you. This is something you might not have discovered in a regular university.

The Salary

Let’s face it, no matter how much people talk about how money does not provide fulfilling happiness, at the end of the day, money is the only thing that’ll assist in keeping you alive. Be it food, shelter over your head, or just financial confidence. It’s something everyone needs.

So, even if it’s something that you love doing, your added hard work needs to see its value as a paid profession. The good news is that your fellow ornithologists are not going bankrupt or starving. They’re actually making a good salary.

Even if the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics does not recognize data for specifically bird watchers, they do indeed keep data of zoologists and biologists of wildlife. The field of ornithology falls under these professions. If we have a look at their salary, most of them are earning an average of $63,000 a year, according to the data released in 2019.

This all supports the notion that high-paying jobs for ornithologists are indeed available. You just need to go and put yourself out there for the world to see and appreciate.

If you’re comfortable with it just being a hobby, then you’re free to do as you like. And if you wish to turn this into a profession, there are many resources that will take you further and help make your dreams come true.

Making money

  1. Birdwatching tours or ecotourism: You can become a professional birdwatching guide and lead tours for enthusiasts who want to observe birds in their natural habitats. You’ll need extensive knowledge of local bird species, habitats, and good communication skills to provide an enjoyable experience for your clients.
  2. Bird photography: If you have a passion for photography and birdwatching, you can sell your bird photographs to magazines, websites, or stock photo agencies. You can also create and sell photo prints, calendars, or greeting cards featuring your bird photos.
  3. Freelance writing: Write articles and blog posts about birdwatching, bird species, or bird conservation for magazines, websites, or newspapers. You can also write and publish your own birdwatching guidebooks, eBooks, or field guides.
  4. Wildlife surveying and monitoring: Work with government agencies, non-profit organizations, or private companies that conduct bird surveys and monitor bird populations. These positions often require specific knowledge of bird species, identification skills, and data collection methods.
  5. Environmental education: Teach birdwatching, bird identification, or bird ecology classes at nature centers, schools, or through community education programs. You can also develop and deliver workshops or presentations at festivals and events.
  6. Ornithology research: If you have a background in biology or a related field, you can pursue a career in ornithological research. You might work for a university, research institution, or non-profit organization studying bird populations, behavior, or ecology.
  7. Wildlife rehabilitation: If you have experience working with birds or are willing to undergo training, you can work with wildlife rehabilitation centers that care for injured or sick birds. In some cases, you may be able to start your own licensed bird rehabilitation facility.
  8. Bird-related products: Create and sell bird-related products, such as bird feeders, birdhouses, or bird-themed art and crafts.