Birding Ethics

Protecting the welfare of birds

  • Respect the birds’ territory, do not approach too closely
  • Bird quietly, walk slowly, drive cautiously
  • Be extra cautious around nests
  • Never use audio playback near nesting areas
  • Never use audio playback to attract threatened or endangered species
  • Use audio playback sparingly, never in heavily birded areas
  • Do not attract birds (with food or calls) to dangerous areas (roads, areas with predators, unsanitary feeders and baths)
  • Use flash sparingly when photographing birds
  • The birds’ welfare is the highest priority
  • Do not harass birds by flushing, repeated calling, or shining spotlights
  • Report your sightings to appropriate organizations
  • Report rarities to appropriate organizations, but not necessarily to the general public if that would put the bird at risk
  • Report poaching or other illegal activities to the authorities

Protecting Habitat

  • Do not damage habitat (litter, breaking branches, trampling vegetation)
  • Stay on established paths and roads

Respecting the rights of others

  • Respect private property
  • Avoid aiming optics at people/homes
  • Be a birding ambassador, promoting good relations with non-birders and the general public
  • Follow the rules/regulations of public areas

Birding in groups

  • Keep groups small
  • The group leader is the only one who pishes
  • The group leader is responsible for the behavior of the group
  • Be aware of others in your group and how your actions affect their enjoyment