We love to take every chance we can get to destroy the "Birders are Nerds" stereotype. (Ever tromp through bear-infested territory in Alaska looking for an Arctic Warbler? Frozen your tail off at a bird count on a blustery New Jersey shore in November? Birded a garden in southern Africa with venemous snakes hiding in the trees above? We have....)
Anyway, the US Fish and Wildlife Service does a survey every 5 years of fishing, hunting and wildlife watching in the United States. The 2006 survey, released in May, found that 71 milion people participated in wildlife watching, (of that, 23 million did some away-from-home wildlife watching). That was up 8 percent from 2001. Birding, OF COURSE, led the way... The total economic impact of wildlife watchers? $44.7 billion.
The number of anglers and hunters (and we have nothing against anglers and hunters), declined by 12 percent and 4 percent respectively.
Here's a news article about same. Thanks to Papa Carl for passing it on.
Yeah, we're cool.