Birdwatching is an amateur study and observation of birds. An aesthetic interest in birds, as opposed to hunting, began to appear at the end of the 18th
century in the works of English ornithologists Gilbert White, George Montague and a number of others. By the beginning of the Victorian era, the number of birdwatchers increased noteworthily. During this time, interest mainly took the form of collecting: they collected eggs and stuffed animals. Rare specimens brought from the British colonies were especially appreciated.
With the development of optics and photography in the early 20th
century, the hobby began to acquire the modern form. For the first time the term "birdwatching" appeared in the title of a book by British ornithologist Edmund Selous
in 1901. At the same time, illustrated bird guides began to appear in the United States. The most popular in those years was the book "Bird Neighbors" by ornithologist Neltje Blanchan, published in 1897 and sold in the edition of 250 thousand copies.