How to Meet Other Birders
How to meet people
Unless you are a complete ‘loner’ you can increase your enjoyment of birdwatching by joining one of the bird societies, clubs, or RSPB members’ groups which exist in most counties. In some heavily populated areas there may be a bird club or RSPB members’ group in every town. The main function of such clubs is to stimulate an interest in the birds of that county by means of lectures, field excursions and regular bulletins of recently recorded birds. Most importantly they survey annually the county status of each species, the results of which are published in an annual bird report. These local clubs may help with nationally based surveys such as those organized by the BTO. Joining such a club is well worthwhile as it allows you to meet others who are interested in birdwatching and also gives you the opportunity to contribute to the work of the club.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is the largest society of its kind in the country, if not in the world, with over a quarter of a million members. Its chief function is to ensure the better protection of wild birds and to create a public awareness in birds and their place in nature. Its reserves protect almost 40,000 hectares of bird habitat which can be visited daily and also require voluntary help from people who are prepared to spend a week or so wardening and helping with the general management of the reserves. Involvement by its members in local groups has grown enormously in recent years with the idea of drawing members together and arranging lectures and excursions as well as fund-raising activities. Every year the RSPB holds an annual conference attended by large numbers of its members. Whether you are a ‘bird-lover’ or an expert ornithologist you ought to belong to the RSPB.
Once you have passed through the early stages of identifying birds and have become interested in asking and answering questions about birds and joining others to help answer those questions you should join the British Trust for Ornithology. This national organization apart from stimulating and organizing a lot of very useful field research has three conferences a year which can be well worth attending.