There is a fascinating article in the NYT about the ancient lineage that runs from the Roman auguries (who practiced divination with birds) to modern day birders. You can read the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/opinion/sunday/what-do-the-bird-watchers-know.html?hp&_r=0 but I was struck by this paragraph
A BIRD-WATCHER is a kind of pious predator. To see a new bird is to capture it, metaphorically, and a rare bird or an F.O.Y. (First of the Year, for the uninitiated) is a kind of trophy. A list of birds seen on a given day is also a form of prayer, a thanksgiving for being alive at a certain time and place. Posting that list online is a 21st-century form of a votive offering. It’s unclear what deity presides.
Think about that … “A list of birds seen on a given day is also a form of prayer, a thanksgiving for being alive at a certain time and place”