Birdwatching Do’s And Don’ts
…Keep Your Distance
Obviously there’s a world of difference when the bird wants to interact with you, ie.) the greedy seagull making a swipe at your ice cream cone, or you coming too close to a nesting bird or approaching a colony. Otherwise, don’t assume that birds want you to come up and snuggle with them. Most birds are very territorial, and they are usually minding their young ones. Hence, keep your distance, please!
…Take Your Rubbish Home
Of course most of you would do this anyway, and there’s no use preaching to the choir, but environmental damage is one of the biggest factors facing birds in the world right now. Seabirds in particular, are very vulnerable to being killed or injured from swallowing debris that they thought was food. Litter in general is just bad. Ok, end of that particular lecture!
…Get To Know Your Local Area
Regular watching will help you understand the patterns of behavior you see, and get to know what’s normal and what’s not for your local area.
…Be Prepared To Be Patient
It might take some time but you will be rewarded for your patience. Early mornings are often the best times to spot birds, but there are a whole lot of factors which affect whether you will see the bird you’re looking for. Good things come to those who wait!
…Think Before Using Social Media
Have you just seen a rare bird on your stretch of the coast? Maybe have a little think before unleashing the hideout of this bird’s family to everyone under the sun.
…Follow All Signs And Bi-Laws
If a posted sign indicates a bird nesting area, even if you can’t find any evidence of it happening, please heed the notice.
Beaches, for instance, are often nesting grounds for species such as terns. It is possible that walking through those areas could damage the eggs which are laid in sand, and often hard to spot. You may also scare off a parent bird from returning.
…Use Flash Photography
Be careful about your use of artificial light when it comes to filming or taking photographs. It can scare / blind the birds, and believe us when we tell you that they do not like it!
…Stress Out The Birds
Don’t be a ‘bird brain’ by disturbing birds, by getting too close, or using obtrusive filming methods, or making too much noise etc.
…Attempt Amateur Rescues
If you find an injured bird at the beach, do not attempt to do some DIY surgery. Contact your local conservation group, park rangers or bird volunteer groups.
The same also applies to any bird you think may have been abandoned. Getting too close to it may scare off the parent from coming back to them.
If you follow these simple common sense rules of birdwatching, you can then observe nature peacefully, and enjoy all that birdwatching has to offer. Thanks for reading!