Ethical Birding Guidelines

Below are our guidelines to ensure our participants a safe and gratifying experience without altering the ability of birds to behave naturally. Be an exemplary ethical role model. Teach through word and example.

1. Be Mindful of Wildlife
a. The birds’ welfare is the highest priority. Disturbing their behaviors
can cause nest failure, starvation, predation, etc.
b. If a bird responds to your presence (e.g. alert posture, alarm calls) you
are too close. Please back away. Move slowly, not quickly or abruptly.
c. Audio playback is not allowed on national wildlife refuges and is not recommended in other natural areas.  Especially during the nesting season when it is critical that parent birds remain on their nest.
d. Birds, nests, or eggs must not be handled except for approved research.
e. Do not use flash when photographing birds.

2. Be Mindful of Others and Safety for Yourself and Others
a. Respect private property and do not enter without permission.
b. Follow all laws, rules, and regulations when visiting wildlife refuges, parks and other natural areas.
c. Wear appropriate attire for outdoor activities, this includes footwear.
d. Stay with the group and do not wander.
e. Be polite and behave in a manner that will only enhance the birding
experience for the entire group.
h. Keep conversations minimal and voices soft.
i. No selfish birding, please share your observations with others.

3. Be Mindful of your Personal Birding Experience
a. Walk quietly and speak softly, birds can sense your presence often
long before you notice theirs. This also allows birders to hear bird songs
and calls.  Patience is often rewarded.

4. Be Mindful of Nature Conservation
a. Consider supporting the protection and conservation of important bird habitat.
b. Do not damage habitat.
c. Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist.
d. Dispose of waste properly.