One of our regular readers contacted us asking what is the best field guide to birds in Tasmania. Not being birding people we are a bit stumped but remembered a trip to the South Coast of Tasmania where we met some Twitchers.
Ok, so what is a twitcher? Off to Wikipedia for a definition:
The term twitcher, sometimes misapplied as a synonym for birder, is reserved for those who travel long distances to see a rare bird that would then be ticked, or checked off, on a list. The term originated in the 1950s, when it was used to describe the nervous behaviour of Howard Medhurst, a British birdwatcher.
The main goal of twitching is often to accumulate species on one’s lists. Some birders engage in competition to accumulate the longest species list. The act of the pursuit itself is referred to as a twitch or a chase. A rare bird that stays put long enough for people to see it is twitchable or chaseable.
Now, we had a close encounter with an American couple who were in Australia for over three months and were down to the last 5 or 6 birds in the The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Yep, they had sighted over 700 birds and were at Melaleuka in south west Tasmania, to “tick off” the endangered orange-bellied parrot. An epic trip for one bird….
From memory they were using The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia so that is the book we recommended.
Do you love identifying birds on your hiking trips?
Do you have a recommended “bird book” that may be better than The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia?
Have you seen the orange-bellied parrot?
Please leave a reply below and share your experience and advice.