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
- The birds’ welfare is the highest priority. Treat wildlife with respect.
- Disturbances of any kind can cause nest failure, predation, etc.
- Be especially mindful of nesting or roosting birds as they are more vulnerable.
- Audio playback is not allowed on National Wildlife Refuges and is not recommended in other natural areas as it disturbs birds.
- Birds, nests, or eggs must not be handled.
- Do not use flash when photographing birds.
Be Mindful of Others and Prioritize Safety
- Respect private property and do not enter without permission.
- Follow all laws, rules, and regulations when visiting wildlife refuges, parks and other natural areas.
- Wear appropriate attire for outdoor activities, including footwear.
- Stay with the group.
- Be polite and behave in a manner that will enhance the birding
experience for the entire group.
- Keep conversations minimal, voices soft, and cell phones low.
- Please share your observations with others if it will not disturb the animals.
- Lead by example.
Be Mindful of your Personal Birding Experience
- 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.
- 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
- Consider supporting the protection and conservation of important bird habitats.
- Do not damage habitat. Be environmentally friendly at home and in nature.
- Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist.
- Practice Leave No Trace principles. Dispose of waste properly, and do not share food with wildlife.