According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more than 71 million people engaged in wildlife watching in 2011, spending $55.0 billion on their activities.
The survey indicates an increase of 2.6 million participants since 2006. Nearly 38 percent of all Americans participated in wildlife-related recreation in 2011.
The U.S. Census Bureau interviewed 48,627 households across the country to obtain samples of sportspersons and wildlife watchers for detailed interviews. Information was collected through computer-assisted telephone and in-person interviews.
source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service