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.
- 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: