The pandemic encouraged many people to take up birding and nature observation. This is probably because of the closure of indoor venues, which compelled some to find other ways to entertain themselves.
I wonder if this nature surge is over, though.
Either data on iNat or your own evidence of any lessening of the popularity of birding/nature would be of much interest. Cheers!
Probably a nature park that charges admission or otherwise counts number of visitors would be able to answer the question best.
There are a lot of factors. I remember in the early days, March-May 2020, some people weren’t working (myself included), and they wanted something to do with all that free time, but a lot of the parks and trails were closed either because their own staff weren’t working or out of fear of crowding. This combination made a lot of the trails which were open extra crowded. But then by June my state eased some of the restrictions, and the closed parks mostly opened again, and also our weather becomes too hot in summer for the outdoors to be pleasant. So I didn’t see so much crowding after that. I heard the beaches were crowded, but I didn’t go.
Honestly since I live in a densely populated area, in the nicer seasons our wilderness parks and natural areas have a fair amount of people all the time, pretty much as many people as their parking situation can accommodate, especially on weekends. It would be hard for me to say if there was particular crowding lasting any longer than that first spring.
I don’t know of anyone who took up nature watching as a hobby but gave it up again.
An interesting question - and very hard to measure I’d imagine. A reduction in numbers of practically any sort does not necessarily mean a reduction in interest, or the numbers of people involved in nature-based hobbies - simply now that things are returning to normal many people can’t spend as much time on their new interest.
Well…it was a lot easier to pop out for a few minutes during work breaks and check on what the bees on my balcony were up to when I was working from home several days a week, which was still the case last spring/summer. I suspect that sort of nature observing isn’t going to be nearly as feasible this year. I’ll have to find other ways/times to watch my bees.
I don’t think everyone is going to abandon their pandemic hobbies now that old routines are possible again – these activities just have to be fit around other time commitments in a different way. (I mean, some people gave up their sourdough starter once grocery shopping normalized, but I know of others who decided they preferred their homemade bread and continue to bake, even if they now have to plan it more carefully due to work schedules.)