Ethical birding

In all of my birding life I have largely gone out by myself, or just with my wife and very occasionally with family such as my grand-children. Consequently, I have not been a witness to bad or questionable behaviour on the part of other birders.

I also tend to go out bush in the farming land near where I live where not many birders tend to congregate. Actually – that alone could explain why I sometimes do not get very long lists of birds observed, which could mean that I am going to the wrong spots.

Anyhow… I have just read an article in the news letter published by Birds SA. This article appeared in the August 2014 issue which indicates that I am a little behind with my reading. The then president of the association, David Paton, write in his regular letter to members an interesting article about ethical birding which is worth quoting here:

Ethical bird watching

“While bird watching, we all need to behave in ways that minimise disturbing the birds. This is particularly true in the breeding season, and many birds have already started breeding [in South Australia].

Ethical bird watching  begins by first obtaining permission to be on a property and complying with any instructions from the owner or land manager.

Once on the land and watching birds one should:

  • move away from any nests that are found;
  • refrain from playing recordings of bird calls to lure birds in;
  • limit the use of flash when taking pictures;
  • respond appropriately if the birds are giving distractive displays, by moving away and not returning to the same area;
  • not remove vegetation for a better view or photograph;
  • think about the consequences for the birds of passing on details of rarer species or species that are nesting.

All these actions are about protecting the habitats and welfare of individual birds.”

David Paton, President, Birds SA in the August 2014 newsletter.

The above list gives plenty of wise advice on treating our birds with respect, and ways of caring for them and our environment.

Birds SA

For people living in Adelaide and other parts of South Australia, can I encourage you to become members of Birds SA? I have been a member now for over 35 years – somewhere I have a certificate to prove it.

For your membership your receive regular newsletters, journals, electronic updates, access to their weekly birding excursions, access to their monthly meetings and their extensive library of bird books. The monthly meetings always have interesting speakers, though I sadly don’t get to all that many meetings because of living in the country.

You can access their website here.

Good birding.



One Response to “Ethical birding”

  1. Liana Lord says:

    Hey Trevor I am curious if you or if anyone you know is open to adopting baby spotted doves. I found a youngling still only very young as it still has its down feathers (small needle orange feathers) with a lot of skin still showing on the head and the chest, and still has not opened eyes or does not tweet much. I found her by a tree in the rain abandoned and I couldn’t find any near by nest.
    I am feeding it a mix or bird seed and sunflower seeds and linseed and oats all grounded up and mixed with water about 6 – 8 times a day. It’s living in a small nest shaped home made from a soft towel and toilet paper , and I bathe her in disinfectant and water. It has a lamp for heat and has survived for 4 days with me so far but I don’t want to keep it as I don’t have the room but don’t want to take it to the vet as it will be most likely put down .
    I was wondering if you could please help me because my only other idea was to take her to a park where I find some pigeons or doves when she’s a bit older and just observe to see if she gets accepted and adopted . I don’t know what else to do.

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