Though much of the time birdwatching (or birding) involves crouching stock-still in a field, the pay-off when your plumed quarry arrives can be well worth your patience. The best birdwatching locations around the world can be closely guarded secrets amongst 'twitchers'.
But for those looking for a new holiday experience, birdwatching can develop into a real passion. Birds are some of the worlds most colourful and melodic creatures, and getting to know their sounds and social behaviour can be an enlightening experience, especially in the company of other birdwatchers. Scarlet macaws, with their curved beaks and bright plumage are arrogant, intelligent animals, while the friendly faced Puffin is more reserved, and the Bald Eagle is clever, intimidating and a deadly hunting machine.
The diverse range of bird life and habitats means you can birdwatch almost anywhere. Birdwatching travel companies - or whom there are many - tend to choose areas with a good mix of birding opportunities, sunshine, authentic food and accommodation, and local cultural attractions. They are normally based around single locations - agroturismo farms, camps and lodges in areas of great scenic beauty - and since these locations rely heavily on birdwatching tourism, you can often fix a DIY custom birding holiday, using local guides provided by the hotel if necessary, in addition to a more organised tour with a group from a specialist birdwatching travel company.