Birding Tips and Bird Watching

Category General

Protect the birds and their habitat.

  • To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, user caution when observing, photographing, and making sound or film recordings.
  • Limit your use of recordings and other methods to attract birds. Never use such methods in heavily birded areas, or to attract any species that is threatened, endangered, or is rare in your local area.
  • Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites. In such sensitive areas, use a blind or hide and take advantage of natural cover for extended observation, photography, filming or recording.
  • Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners. The sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to the proper conservation authorities.
  • Stay on roads, trails and paths, where they exist, and minimize habitat disturbance.

Respect the law, and the rights of others.

  • Do not enter private property without the owner’s explicit permission.
  • Follow all laws, rules and regulations governing the use of roads and public areas.
  • Practice common courtesy with other people. Your exemplary behavior will generate goodwill with birders and non-birders alike.

*Adapted from Amercian Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Full text available at

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