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.

Be Mindful of Wildlife

  1. The birds’ welfare is the highest priority. Treat wildlife with respect.
  2. Disturbances of any kind can cause nest failure, predation, etc.
  3. Be especially mindful of nesting or roosting birds as they are more vulnerable.
  4. Audio playback is not allowed on National Wildlife Refuges and is not recommended in other natural areas as it disturbs birds.
  5. Birds, nests, or eggs must not be handled.
  6. Do not use flash when photographing birds.

Be Mindful of Others and Prioritize Safety

  1. Respect private property and do not enter without permission.
  2. Follow all laws, rules, and regulations when visiting wildlife refuges, parks and other natural areas.
  3. Wear appropriate attire for outdoor activities, including footwear.
  4. Stay with the group.
  5. Be polite and behave in a manner that will enhance the birding
    experience for the entire group.
  6. Keep conversations minimal, voices soft, and cell phones low.
  7. Please share your observations with others if it will not disturb the animals.
  8. Lead by example.

Be Mindful of your Personal Birding Experience

  1. Walk quietly and speak softly, birds can sense your presence
    long before you notice theirs. This also allows birders to hear bird songs
    and calls.  Patience is often rewarded.
  2. Take care of yourself. Be prepared with warm clothes, water, a cell phone, a first-aid kit, etc., so you can focus your attention on the birds.

Be Mindful of Nature Conservation

  1. Consider supporting the protection and conservation of important bird habitats.
  2. Do not damage habitat. Be environmentally friendly at home and in nature.
  3. Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist.
  4. Practice Leave No Trace principles. Dispose of waste properly, and do not share food with wildlife.