Birding Ethics 101

 

1. Wildlife Comes First!    


  • The birds’ welfare is the highest priority.
  • Disturbance can keep birds from their nests, leaving chicks hungry or enabling predators to take eggs or young.
  • If the bird is reacting to your presence, you’re too close. Back away and give it time to settle down.
  • Blend in with your surroundings- wear neutral-colored clothing and keep movements slow and steady .
  • Wear visible, bright clothing if birding during hunting season.
  • Do not approach nests, roosts, or display areas.
  • Birds, nests, or eggs must not be handled except for recognized research.
  • Photography: Refrain from using flash when photographing birds.

 

2. Respect Others & Practice Safety

 

  • Respect private property.
    • Don’t point optics toward people or houses.
  • Never stop your vehicle in a traffic lane to view birds. Pull completely onto the shoulder to conduct short-term or long-term viewing.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and terrain
  • Inform others of your plans in case you fail to return- carry a cell phone for emergencies (but keep it silenced while birding)
  • Try not to disrupt other birders’ activities or scare the birds they are watching.
  • Keep conversations minimal and voices soft.
  • Share the best views with other birders

 

 

3.  Enjoy Your Birding Experience

 

  • Bird quietly, walk slowly  this also helps when listening for bird calls.
  • Be patient, take the time to observe.
  • Patience is often rewarded.
  • Don’t be too concerned about finding that rare bird, or spotting more species than last month. Birding is meant to be informative, but also fun.

 

 

4. Support Conservation

  • Participate in conservation .projects to keep island habitats healthy.
  • Support protection of important bird habitat.
  • Carpool whenever possible. This is a great way to get to know new folks, swap birding stories, and share information.
  • Do not damage habitat (breaking branches, trampling vegetation).
  • Leave habitats in as good or better condition as we find them.
  • Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist.
  • Leave no trace- pack it in, pack it out.

 

More information about birds and ethical birding practices can be found using the links below:

Mindful Birding   (*find out more about our sources for this list here)
American Birding Association
Audubon Society