But do animals get a kick out of watching us?
While doing yoga in the lounge room I happened to glance out the window. There, frozen in astonishment on a branch, crouched a possum. It stared at me with deep concern as I assumed the Warrior Two position. Perhaps it was just hoping for some cereal or sausages. But what about the ibis that followed me round a Sydney park, peering over my shoulder while I wrote a personal letter? I started to feel nervously that it really could read.
My best experience of being bird-watched was in the Cook Islands. I was on a cross-island hike when the rare Rarotongan fly-catcher started chasing me from tree to tree along the trail. I knew it was the rare Rarotongan fly-catcher because I'd just seen a picture of it on a tea-towel in a tourist shop. I called my partner over and told him, 'Look, there's the rare Rarotongan fly-catcher.''That?!' he snorted. 'That's just someone's pet canary. It's obviously tame.' The RRFC does look like a canary when young. Its strange habit of human-watching may explain its rarity.