Perhaps this quote offers insight into the popularity of birdwatching. It comes from the book “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean.
 
“There are too many ideas and things and people, too many directions to go. I was starting to believe that the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size. It makes the world seem not huge and empty but full of possibility.”