Originally Posted by s. james
Was wondering about the word "birding" and the phrase "dawn chorus". When were these coined? I think people sometimes complain about "birding" thinking it's a modern variant on "birdwatching". To me "dawn chorus" just sounds like it's been invented for a glossy nature reserve events booklet.
However I've found both (in the correct context) in a book written in 1940. Anybody know of any earlier references?
Shakespeare did write about going "a-birding" but he apparently meant with guns.
No idea of earlier references, I´ve just checked through all the books on my shelf and come up with nothing. "Dawn Chorus" sounds the more authentic of the two to my ear....whereas "Birding" (i.e. not with guns), sounds like a euphimism invented by birdwatchers when the term "Birdwatching" became the butt of too many "Trainspotting" type jokes. Certainly I never remember the activity being called "Birding" in the seventies.