Originally Posted by jurek
I think it is not possible to call occassional birders 'not yet birders'. One cannot identify some external border, at what level of interest in birds one can be called a birder. Owns binoculars? Birder is a person who simply identifies itself as purposefully watching birds. It is no different from hunting - some hunters don't regularly go hunting.
What matters is how well all birders form a pressure group for conservation causes, and how to make it better. Hunters, in my opinion, are more active, better organized as a lobby, and also perceived publicly as more important lobby. Birders still are perceived, and see themselves, as a narrow niche hobby. However it is clear that birding is not a niche hobby anymore and should have bigger impact on politics than hunting.
All good points and well said.
Hardly mentioned are also hunter/birders who represent both sides and support conservation efforts and various organizations.