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Promoting birding (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
With all the trouble I've gotten myself in to recently by voicing my opposition to the promotion of our wonderful hobby, specifically to certain sections of society, I thought I'd post this.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-en...tcher-14-making-the-most-of-lockdown-wildlife

Whilst it's great to get any youngsters at all in to birding, this article seems to me, to enforce the image which many already have, of it being the preserve of the white, middle class?

I didn't have a camera like that when I was fourteen, or Leica bins and a telescope!
 
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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Having rich parents promoting you to the BBC also helps I guess!

I still don't have a camera like that and likely never will :-O
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Whilst it's great to get any youngsters at all in to birding, this article seems to me, to enforce the image which many already have, of it being the preserve of the white, middle class?

I didn't have a camera like that when I was fourteen, or Leica bins and a telescope!

Hell, I am 40 and I am not sure I could afford a camera like that!
 

YuShan

Well-known member
Unfortunately, this video enforces the idea that you first need lots of STUFF to enjoy anything. All you need are cheap(ish) binoculars that are typically cheaper than a phone (which all young people have).
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
It's nice that the BBC has a positive story about birdwatching. There was a recent episode of Have I Got News For You which promoted the general view of it being a pastime for losers (season 59, episode 4).

I agree with Andy that with the equipment he's carrying it does not help to broaden the audience though.
 

Euan Buchan

The Edinburgh Birdwatcher
Supporter
Scotland
There seems to be 2 different type of birders now many including me are happy watching through Binoculars, take pics with their phones and take notes and others use big top of the range cameras. I've actually been put off Birding whilst watching a bird and you actually just hear the constant clicking on their camera but must admit they took take great shots.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
It's a shame people have responded to this post by envious sniping at the youngster for being fortunate enough to have parents who can provide him with top notch equipment. The critical thing is that (in the UK at least) active birders are an ageing group and unless more youngsters start taking an interest our hobby will suffer. Yes, he is lucky and indulged but unless we recruit more articulate passionate people of his generation things will not turn out well.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Now I am curious where did you get into trouble and what was your opinion, because I see promoting birding as a no-brainer, so it could be interesting to see another thing we disagree on :)
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Now I am curious where did you get into trouble and what was your opinion, because I see promoting birding as a no-brainer, so it could be interesting to see another thing we disagree on :)

The clues are all in the first paragraph, I'm sure someone will be delighted to give you the details but it's nothing I haven't said recently as well a in the past.
 
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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
It's a shame people have responded to this post by envious sniping at the youngster for being fortunate enough to have parents who can provide him with top notch equipment. The critical thing is that (in the UK at least) active birders are an ageing group and unless more youngsters start taking an interest our hobby will suffer. Yes, he is lucky and indulged but unless we recruit more articulate passionate people of his generation things will not turn out well.


The 'envious sniping', certainly if you're aiming that at me, is not at the boy but the choice of a clearly, affluent young man and the image it projects of the hobby.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
The 'envious sniping', certainly if you're aiming that at me, is not at the boy but the choice of a clearly, affluent young man and the image it projects of the hobby.

No, I wasn't aiming at you in particular (you'd know it if I was) just the carping attitude shown by several people on this thread. The choice of someone who's "clearly, affluent" is and should be secondary to the fact that he's "young". Yes, in an ideal world it'd be better to see a wider spectrum of youngsters - by gender, ethnicity, income and otherwise more diverse - shown enjoying birdwatching (or nature in general) but given the current profile of birders as being largely old(er) men I'll take anything that disrupts that stereotype.
 
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DMW

Well-known member
He seems a good lad and a sharp birder - I thought it was great the way he got sidetracked by the birds he could hear. Don't care about his background or what kit he owns.
 

BryanP

Little known member
Canada
Do I detect a whiff of sniffiness? Guys, it's a puff piece for cryin' out loud, lighten up.

Rich helicopter parents pitching their kid to the BBC or any other news organization usually doesn't go over too well with news staff or editors. It being a light weight piece I'm guessing the BBC had plans in advance to do a nice feel good story and may have heard about him through social media or a third party.
Maybe someone here knows the parents and can attest to their wealth, or perhaps he bought that kit used on Flea bay or elsewhere. Don't underestimate a determined kid (or anyone else for that matter) with a passion, its remarkable how that passion can trigger the ingenuity and incentive needed to make things happen.

The camera is an older Nikon D7200 and can be picked up second hand pretty cheap for around 600.00 USD. The D7500 is the current model and is going for just under 900.00 USD body only. The lens looks like the Nikon 200-500 and sells for 1257.00 USD. Total cost new around 2200.00 USD, hardly the out of reach king's ransom being suggested.
If my supposed casual mention of this sum suggests I view it as being chump change, it's not. I would have to scrimp and save for some considerable time to be able to afford this gear. But if I really really wanted it I'd find a way. I suspect this kid feels the same way.


I live in Costa Rica where both the living wage and the average age of a birder is much lower than in Britain. I see that very kit or similar in the hands of a fair few of the local kids. Most of them here are merely determined to earn and save every penny to get their gear. If they can pull it off with the inherent disadvantages that exist here why not a young guy over there.

I might add that not one of the kids here who can't afford the gear shown in that piece would give up on birding because of one video nor would any kid contemplating taking up the sport.

I guess I'm just making a pitch for giving this kid a break. It might not be his fault he found himself in the cross hairs of a light news day.
Cheers,
Bryan
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
No, I wasn't aiming at you in particular (you'd know it if I was) just the carping attitude shown by several people on this thread. The choice of someone who's "clearly, affluent" is and should be secondary to the fact that he's "young". Yes, in an ideal world it'd be better to see a wider spectrum of youngsters - by gender, ethnicity, income and otherwise more diverse - shown enjoying birdwatching (or nature in general) but given the current profile of birders as being largely old(er) men I'll take anything that disrupts that stereotype.

My response was more out of humor than anything else...I seldom take a camera into the field, and I certainly can't fault someone for having the money to spend on that equipment.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Do I detect a whiff of sniffiness? Guys, it's a puff piece for cryin' out loud, lighten up.

Rich helicopter parents pitching their kid to the BBC or any other news organization usually doesn't go over too well with news staff or editors. It being a light weight piece I'm guessing the BBC had plans in advance to do a nice feel good story and may have heard about him through social media or a third party.
Maybe someone here knows the parents and can attest to their wealth, or perhaps he bought that kit used on Flea bay or elsewhere. Don't underestimate a determined kid (or anyone else for that matter) with a passion, its remarkable how that passion can trigger the ingenuity and incentive needed to make things happen.

The camera is an older Nikon D7200 and can be picked up second hand pretty cheap for around 600.00 USD. The D7500 is the current model and is going for just under 900.00 USD body only. The lens looks like the Nikon 200-500 and sells for 1257.00 USD. Total cost new around 2200.00 USD, hardly the out of reach king's ransom being suggested.
If my supposed casual mention of this sum suggests I view it as being chump change, it's not. I would have to scrimp and save for some considerable time to be able to afford this gear. But if I really really wanted it I'd find a way. I suspect this kid feels the same way.


I live in Costa Rica where both the living wage and the average age of a birder is much lower than in Britain. I see that very kit or similar in the hands of a fair few of the local kids. Most of them here are merely determined to earn and save every penny to get their gear. If they can pull it off with the inherent disadvantages that exist here why not a young guy over there.

I might add that not one of the kids here who can't afford the gear shown in that piece would give up on birding because of one video nor would any kid contemplating taking up the sport.

I guess I'm just making a pitch for giving this kid a break. It might not be his fault he found himself in the cross hairs of a light news day.
Cheers,
Bryan

Yet again, my point is being missed or deliberately ignored.
 

BryanP

Little known member
Canada
Andy
I’m sorry folks keep ignoring or missing your point, it must be hard. I’ll get off your lawn now.
Cheers,
Bryan
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
As a 14 year old I wouldn't have been able to afford that lot either! (and wouldn't now); however given the prices and National Average Wage etc his parents wouldn't have to be 'wealthy' by any stretch, depends how you spend your money and prioritise. But a fairly moot point imo.

Anyway ...

Bumped into this whilst looking on twitter earlier - https://www.gofundme.com/f/east-cla...m_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

(Not forgetting that in the US compared to UK a lot more female birders as an additional point)
 

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