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Photo Credit: Tyler Garnham
Photo Credit: Bruce Kirkby
Photo Credit: Bruce Kirkby
Photo Credit: Bruce Kirkby
Photo Credit: Terry Parker
Photo Credit: Tyler Garnham
Photo Credit: Tyler Garnham
Photo Credit: Terry Parker
Photo Credit: Tyler Garnham
Photo Credit: Tyler Garnham

Birding Ethics – Code of American Birding Association

We, the membership of the American Birding Association, believe that all birders have an obligation at all times to protect wildlife, the natural environment, and the rights of others. We therefore pledge ourselves to provide leadership in meeting this obligation by adhering to the following general guidelines of good birding behaviour.

  1. Birders must always act in ways that do not endanger the welfare of birds or other wildlife.
    In keeping with this principle, we will

    • Observe and photograph birds without knowingly disturbing them in any significant way.
    • Avoid chasing or repeatedly flushing birds.
    • We will only sparingly use recordings and similar methods of attracting birds and not use these methods in heavily birded areas.
    • Keep an appropriate distance from nests and nesting colonies so as not to disturb the birds or expose them to danger.
    • Refrain from handling birds or eggs unless engaged in recognized research activities.
  2. Birders must always act in ways that do not harm the natural environment.
    In keeping with this principle, we will

    • Stay on existing roads, trails and pathways whenever possible to avoid trampling or otherwise disturbing the fragile habitat.
    • Leave all habitats as it was found.
  3. Birders must always respect the rights of others.
    In keeping with this principle, we will

    • Respect the privacy and property of others by observing ‘No Trespassing’ signs and by asking permission to enter private or posted lands.
    • Observe all laws and the rules and regulations that govern public use of birding areas.
    • Practice common courtesy in our contact with others. For example, limit requests for information and make them at reasonable hours of the day.
    • Always behave in a manner that will enhance the image of the birding community in the eyes of the public.
  4. Birders in groups should assume special responsibilities.
    1. As group members, we will
      • Take special care to alleviate the problems and disturbances that are multiplied when more people are present.
      • Act in consideration of the group’s interest, as well as our own.
      • Support by our actions the responsibility of the group leader(s) for the conduct of the group.
    2. As group leaders, we will
      • Assume responsibility for the conduct of the group.
      • Learn and inform the group of any special rules, regulations, or conduct applicable to the area or habitat being visited.
      • Limit groups to a size that does not threaten the environment or the peace and tranquillity of others.
      • Teach others birding ethics by our words and example.

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