Birdwatching, or birding as it is often called, is the fastest growing outdoor recreational activity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that 40 percent of birders are willing to travel to discover new birdwatching opportunities. Many landowners are finding they can build businesses that diversify their income by establishing birding opportunities for enthusiasts.
Starting a birding enterprise must begin with careful research of the market. This can be done by getting information from state tourism and wildlife agencies or birding publications and groups. Most birders are looking for variety of things that offer a unique experience. Landowners should be able to provide a diversity of bird species, opportunities for birders to socialize, and a scenic and relaxing environment.
As with any business, it is important to effectively advertise to attract new customers. Advertising through traditional means such as direct mail can be successful, but many find the way to attract birders is through networking with birding association and visitors' bureaus, and gaining the acceptance of other birding business owners. Those who succeed do so through providing diverse landscapes that allow for enjoyable, unique experiences.
Establishing a Birding Related Business: A Resource Guide (PDF)
Texas Agricultural Extension Service
This publication contains background information about the birding market and birders. It includes statistics regarding the economics of the birding market including participation trends, demographics and statistics on the characteristics of birders, how to begin a birding business, determining price, and developing a product.
Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis (PDF)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation provides information on birders including demographic information and the economics of birding including trip and equipment expenditures and a summary of economic impacts.