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Starting a Bird Watching Group

If you ever find yourself looking up to the sky, fascinated with the beautiful chirping of a bird and their sometimes vibrant colors, you’re not alone. Birdwatching is a hobby that is enjoyed by millions of people across the globe.

With such a passion for these lovely creatures, it’s no wonder why you might consider taking your hobby a step forward and creating a local bird club. This is especially true if you’ve tried searching “birding clubs near me” and come up empty.

There are likely plenty of people in your area who are performing a similar search in hopes of finding a local or wild bird club or a combination of both. So why not take the initiative and start the bird watching club yourself?

While it might sound challenging, starting a bird-watching club can be quite simple. Below you will find some interesting facts about birding and how you can set up your club in no time.

Why Do Humans Like Birdwatching?

Birdwatching wasn’t a “big” thing in the past, but it has burst in popularity recently. But what’s the reasoning for this sudden interest in birding? Why do humans enjoy birding so much? Here are just a few reasons why.

It Connects Us to Nature

There is something undeniably fascinating about nature, and humans are constantly looking to find connections to it. Well, birds are everywhere, and they can be seen from almost anywhere. This presents the perfect opportunity to sit back and enjoy this little slice of nature. From there, a spark for caring about other areas of nature is developed, which leads to a brighter and more sustainable world.

Birds Are Fun to Watch

Birds make an enjoyable chirping sound, and no two bird types sound exactly the same. They can also be adorned with glamorous, eye-catching colors that are so intriguing to see. But besides their lovely chirp and aesthetic, birds can simply be fun to watch. Birds are a lot sillier and interesting than you might think, and watching them for just a few seconds proves it.

Easy and Cheap Hobby

Some hobbies require you to learn new skills and buy specialty products just to get started. With bird watching, it’s quick and simple. All you need is a good pair of binoculars and a field guide, and you can get started. Plus, it’s a hobby that runs all year long, so you won’t have to find any other hobbies during the “off-season.”

Sense of Community

Another reason some people like birding is that it creates a sense of community. That’s why people will search for “bird clubs near me” and join a local bird-watching club. By joining the club, they have instant access to people who think alike and enjoy some of the same things - such as birding. This creates lifelong friendships that might not be found elsewhere.

Healthy Hobby

Did you know that birdwatching is a healthy hobby, too? Being in nature is incredibly beneficial to humans both mentally and physically. Simply smelling the fresh air is enough to promote positive feelings, reduce stress, and reduce blood pressure and muscle tension. The health benefits increase further when you go hiking or travel long distances to find new species.

How to Start a Successful Bird Watching Group

bird watching with binoculars

So you’re thinking about starting your very own bird watching club. Great! It’s not an incredibly difficult task, but there are a few keys to success that you shouldn’t forget. Keep reading to find out the top five tips for starting a successful bird watching club.

Passion for Birdwatching

There is something to be said for someone who has a true passion for something, rather than someone who just “likes” it. Face it - if you don’t have the passion for the group you’re creating, it’s not likely to succeed.

Think about your passion for birdwatching and if this is a hobby that you want to be engulfed in, possibly for a lifetime. If the answer is “yes,” you should definitely consider creating your own bird watching club.

Knowledge of Birds

The whole fun of birdwatching is that you get to research, watch, and learn about new bird species regularly. So, don’t think you need to walk into your position as head of the bird watching club knowing everything.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know some basic facts. There is plenty to learn on the American Birding Association website. Don’t forget the power of personal experience, either. While reading up on the ABA website is a great start, you should also have in-person experience watching and researching bird species.

Leadership and Communication Skills

It doesn't matter if you’re leading the country or a bird-watching club - being a good leader is imperative. You should have the confidence and personality to be able to lead a group of people, whether you’re going on an outdoor hike or putting together a booth at a bird-watching convention.

Not only should you be a confident leader that your group can depend on, but you should also have some basic charismatic skills. You should be someone that people are drawn to and want to be around. That said, be fun, welcoming, and excited about your group. New members will gravitate towards you.

Lastly, make sure you are a responsible person. Having your own bird watching club means that you are responsible for all aspects of it. If you’re not ready to take on that kind of responsibility, don’t start a club.

Technical Aspects

Don’t forget the technical aspects of starting a bird-watching club, too. Here are some of the most important things to remember:


While you don’t necessarily need to spend large quantities of money on high-end binoculars, it is highly beneficial to have a top-notch pair. The better the binoculars are, the better chance you’ll have at catching even the smallest details and features of the bird you’re watching.

It also helps to have a field guide on hand. This will help you to understand which birds are local and where you might find them. A notebook or app on your mobile device for jotting down new species is also recommended, although not required.


Researching the area for the best spots to bird-watch can make all the difference in your bird-watching group. You need to know where to go, whether it’s in the middle of nowhere or an upcoming event such as a tour or convention. Having a lot of activities for your bird-watching club will keep members interested.


If you’re planning an extensive outdoor bird-watching excursion, you’re going to need bathrooms. Expecting your members to simply go in the park or forest can sway members from attending.

When it comes to portable outdoor bathrooms, you can choose to have luxury portable bathrooms or the basic port-a-potty. Portable bathroom rental prices will be slightly cheaper than fancy portable bathroom options, so it really depends on your budget.

row of portable outdoor bathrooms

The best thing to do is to contact a portable bathroom rental service near you to get quotes and see what works for you and your bird watching club’s needs. Small groups won’t need much, but it might be worth it to splurge and have luxury options if you are putting together grand events or for a more upscale clientele.

interior view of fancy portable bathroom interior view of fancy portable bathroom interior view of fancy portable bathroom


Don’t forget that you will need to promote your bird watching club to get members! Social media is a great tool, as anyone that searches for a “bird watcher club near me” will likely run into your profile. Word of mouth is also a great option. You can also head to local events, even if they’re nature-related instead of specific bird groups, and see if you can create a buzz.


Can you get paid for bird watching?

It’s possible to eventually be paid for bird-watching. This typically does not happen, though, and you would need to be exceptionally good/knowledgeable on birds to get paid to watch them.

How do you start birding everywhere?

The great part about birding is that you can do it everywhere. If you’re planning to bird-watch every which way, always have your binoculars and notebook handy. Then, watch the birds you find quietly from your location and write down what you see (or use an app).

How can I promote my bird watching?

You can start with social media, but eventually, you should create your own website. Have a lot of activities and events for your members. Always post high-quality images and be excited and personable about your bird-watching club.

What equipment do you need for bird watching?

All you really need is a pair of binoculars and a notebook. As you bird-watch more regularly, you can start to splurge on more expensive equipment. When hosting outdoor events, don’t forget to rent a reliable outdoor toilet for your members.

Final Words

Starting a bird-watching club is a great idea for anyone passionate about bird-watching and who wants to share their hobby with others. Just make sure that you have the desire, knowledge, and leadership skills to get the job done.

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