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Bird Watching

A couple enjoying a futuristic hobby

© iStockphoto.com/morganl

While you may have hoped for some futuristic gossip in this article, you'll be very familiar with one activity: bird watching. In 1997, Newsweek published a list of outdoor activities and their expected rate of growth by 2050, and bird watching far outpaced the rest. In fact, back then, bird watching was estimated to grow faster than the projected population of the United States, with a growth rate of about 58 percent [source: Newsweek]. By 2050, there may be as many as 127.8 million birders [source: Jaleshgari].

When bird enthusiasts spot a new find in the future, it will be a pretty big deal. That's because by 2050, the existence of about 400 to 900 species of land birds will be threatened thanks to climate change and habitat destruction [source: Schultz]. So if you relish in the excitement of a rare find, then you have lots of exciting opportunities to await you.

If you consider bird watching to be too much of a fuddy-duddy hobby, consider the fact that the population will be fairly elderly in 2050; in fact, seniors will make up a quarter of all Americans [source: Johnson]. There's a large number of baby boomers, and they're aging during a time in which we're discovering life-elongating technologies every day. With more years to fill, it may be time now to invest in a good pair of binoculars.

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