ABA Birding Code of Ethics

Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.

1. Promote the welfare of birds and their environment.
1(a) Support the protection of important bird habitat.
1(b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming.
Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds,
and never use such methods in heavily birded areas or for attracting
any species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, 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, if there is a need for extended observation, photography,
filming, or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage
of natural cover. Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.
1(c) 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 can be 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.
1(d) Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.
2. Respect the law and the rights of others.
2(a) Do not enter private property without the owner’s explicit permission.
2(b) Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad.
2(c) Practice common courtesy in contacts with other people. . Your exemplary behavior will generate goodwill with birders and non-birders
alike.
3. Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe.
3(a) Keep dispensers, water, and food clean and free of decay or disease. It is important to feed birds continually during harsh weather.
3(c) If you are attracting birds to an area, ensure the birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals, or dangers posed
by artificial hazards.
4. Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special
care.
Each individual in the group, in addition to the obligations spelled out
in Items #1 and #2, has responsibilities as a Group Member.
4(a) Respect the interests, rights, and skills of fellow birders, as well as those of people participating in other legitimate outdoor activities. Freely share your knowledge and experience, except where code 1(c) applies.
Be especially helpful to beginning birders.
4(b) If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation and intervene if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s)
of the inappropriate action and attempt, within reason, to have it
stopped. If the behavior continues, document it and notify appropriate
individuals or organizations.
Group Leader Responsibilities [amateur and professional trips and tours].
4(c) Be an exemplary ethical role model for the group. Teach through word
and example.
4(d) Keep groups to a size that limits impact on the environment and does
not interfere with others using the same area.
4(e) Ensure everyone in the group knows of and practices this code.
4(f) Learn and inform the group of any special circumstances applicable to
the areas being visited (e.g., no tape recorders allowed).
4(g) Acknowledge that professional tour companies bear a special responsibility to place the welfare of birds and the benefits of public knowledge ahead of the company’s commercial interests. Ideally, leaders
should keep track of tour sightings, document unusual occurrences,
and submit records to appropriate organizations.
74 | 2006 ABA Big Day Report & ABA List Report
Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS CODE—DISTRIBUTE IT AND TEACH IT TO OTHERS.
The ABA has developed and promoted this code.
Thursday Birding
Our birding, wildflower, geology, social group meets every Thursday in the north parking lot of Cherry Lane Mall (north of Warren Ave. and east of Atkinson St.) at 9:00 AM (8AM July & August). Be prepared to car pool and offer a donation to the driver ($3 for local trips and more for longer trips). Trips range from ‘car birding’ to easy strolls to moderate hikes. Bring a lunch and dress for the weather. Everyone welcome!