A bird hide (or hide, also known as a blind or bird blind in North America) is a shelter, often camouflaged, that is used to observe wildlife, especially birds, at close quarters. Although hides were once built chiefly as hunting aids, they are now commonly found in parks and wetlands for the use of bird watchers, ornithologists and other observers who do not want to disturb wildlife as it is being observed.
A typical bird hide resembles a garden shed, with small openings, shutters, or windows built into at least one side to enable observation.
Variant types of bird hide include:
- the tower hide, which has multiple storeys and allows observations over large areas
- the bird blind, which is a screen similar to one wall of a typical hide, with or without a roof for shelter
- the machan, a covered platform erected to observe birds and wildlife in high trees or on cliffs, particularly in India where it was originally used by tiger-hunters.
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