Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we'll soon be in trouble.
I can recognize the calls of practically every bird in North America. There are some in Africa I don't know, though.
Not all is doom and gloom. We are beginning to understand the natural world and are gaining a reverence for life - all life.
Birds have wings; they're free; they can fly where they want when they want. They have the kind of mobility many people envy.
I consider myself to have been the bridge between the shotgun and the binoculars in bird watching. Before I came along, the primary way to observe birds was to shoot them and stuff them.