Birdwatchers Spent $32 Billion Last Year Says Fws Report
A federal economic report found that 46 million birdwatchers across America spent $32 billion in 2001 pursuing one of the Nation’s most popular outdoor activities according to a report from the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
The report, Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis, is the first of its kind analyzing data from the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
Montana, Vermont and Wisconsin led the Nation in birding participation rates as a percent of total State population. California, New York and Pennsylvania had the most birders.
Birders spent $32 billion on gear such as binoculars, travel, food and big ticket items such as canoes, cabins and off-road vehicles. This spending generated $85 billion in overall economic output and $13 billion in federal and state income taxes, and supported more than 863,000 jobs.
To be considered a birdwatcher, an individual must take a trip a mile or more from home for the primary purpose of observing birds or must closely observe or try to identify birds around the home. Those who notice birds while mowing the lawn or picnicking at the beach were not counted as birders.
Trips to zoos and observing captive birds also did not count as birdwatching. Watching birds around the home is the most common form of bird-watching. Taking trips away from home counted for 40 percent (18 million) of birders. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.