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by OntPhoto on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:39 pm
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A nice balanced article on....you know.....it's winter up here in Ottawa...what else do you think?

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/the-purists-vs-the-baiters-fowl-play-in-ottawas-birding-country
 

by WDCarrier on Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:34 am
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I had a woman angrily address me for using a recorded bird call to attract a yellow warbler. She claimed it stressed the bird to think there was another male in its territory. I asked her to show me her data on this. She indicated it was the opinion of a well-known bird enthusiast. I told her I was not interested in opinion but I’d gladly review any peer reviewed data on the subject. She didn’t seem to think that the bird was stressed by her following it around to get a better look at it. We’ve moved into a realm where “opinion” doesn’t seem to require facts to support it.
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by KeBul on Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:45 am
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WDCarrier wrote:
 “opinion” doesn’t seem to require facts to support it.


Isn't that the definition of opinion? 

Well I reckon it is anyway!   :D
 

by Andrew_5488 on Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:10 pm
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WDCarrier wrote:
I had a woman angrily address me for using a recorded bird call to attract a yellow warbler.  She claimed it stressed the bird to think there was another male in its territory.  I asked her to show me her data on this.  She indicated it was the opinion of a well-known bird enthusiast.   I told her I was not interested in opinion but I’d gladly review any peer reviewed data on the subject.  She didn’t seem to think that the bird was stressed by her following it around to get a better look at it.  We’ve moved into a realm where “opinion” doesn’t seem to require facts to support it.

I heard that you're not supposed to use recordings during breeding season. I used calls few times many years ago to see what that was
all about and I didn't use it since then ever. I'd rather learn behavior which will help me in a future than cheat.

You do see difference in following bird and playing calls, right ? When you follow a bird, it can see you and you never really get close.
When you play recordings bird will come closer to you than it would ever do on its own.

Anyway here's some reading material:
http://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/04/the-proper-use-of-playback-in-birding/

BTW. did "peer reviewed data" became answer for everything lately. What happened to good old err on the side of caution. We're not important and our pictures are definitely not important so enjoy the birds while we still can.
 

by aolander on Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:31 pm
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"What happened to good old err on the side of caution. We're not important and our pictures are definitely not important so enjoy the birds while we still can."

Ditto to that.
Alan Olander
Minnesota
 

by Cameron Galle on Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:16 pm
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I'd be equally interested to see the research showing that using calls doesn't cause any distress.
Cheers,

Cameron
 

by baldsparrow on Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:56 pm
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Speaking as a professional biologist I can assure anyone in doubt that while using calls may or may not cause distress/stress to birds (depends on the circumstances, the location, the season and the species) it most certainly distracts the birds from doing what they have to do to get through the day successfully; thereby wasting energy and time for them and quite possibly drawing the attention of predators to their presence. This is particularly so in breeding territory holding seasons when the males in particular are hard-wired to respond to what might be a competitor trying to take over their territory. Someone just walking around at a reasonable distance - much less of an issue, it knows you aren't a competitor. There is plenty of literature on this - google will find it if anyone has doubts.

I support Andrew_5488 when he wrote  "What happened to good old err on the side of caution. We're not important and our pictures are definitely not important so enjoy the birds while we still can."
 

by chuckkl on Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:43 pm
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Rick Lee

The one thing this artical is missing in the deplorable practise, well actually a few things, is Owls once fixaded on their target they lock their vision there and fly in low, the will not see the truck, car etc when coming in over the road way, then they get hit, also they will come to rely on the food and stop doing what nature has taught them and that is to hunt their own and quite often they will lose the ability, then when the weather warms and the fake photographers leave the animal will often starve, In ontario is is not illegal YET...it is illegal in several states to bait owls and a push is on for the same laws here. (FYI owls eyesight is increadibly acute, they can not turn their eyes in their sockets this is why they don't see traffic when flying accross a road way.

Like · Reply · 10 hrs · Edited



Michael Cummings · Works at Self-Employed

Sorry you are totally wrong. Owls do not "Forget" how to hunt. Only a fool thinks millions of years of evolution can be forgotten in a couple of weeks.
---------------------------------------

Whoa there !

Back north of home, a bit....... we had a certain female Snowy owl...with her right eye slightly crossed upward.....

....I never bait....but I do know that she was baited at times..

Anyways.....for a good five winters in a row...she came back to the very same fields.... Easy to tell her apart from others, because of her eye....and I have "photo proof" in 2 of those 5 years, of her continued arrival at the site:

http://www.pbase.com/hootpix/image/92490341

http://www.pbase.com/hootpix/image/108085582



Chuckkl
 

by WDCarrier on Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:13 pm
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As I am also a professional wildlife biologist, thus my question is if we should all “err on the side of caution,”  what level of disturbance should be avoided; how is it measured; who measures it; and with what?  At the far end of the spectrum we should all put our photography equipment in the closet and never again enter bird habitat.  On the other end the photograph is much more important than the bird itself and who cares if it is affected.  Sibley indicates (strictly opinion with no data cited but certainly common sense) “Fundamentally, birding disturbs birds. Everything that we do has an impact on birds.”  That’s true of driving to your birding site on a dirt road through occupied habitat; hiking up a trail; setting up your blind; congregating birds at an artificial feeder or drip; etc.   I regularly note adverse bird reaction to the sound of my shutter, especially when using high speed modes with multiple images.

Having been involved with a number of studies on noise effects on birds I can agree there are instances where noise becomes a limiting factor.  But, I can also cite as many instances where it has little or no effect and/or the birds have quickly become habituated to it.  Redwing blackbirds nest in tules bordering interstate highways; ospreys nest on low pilings on Coeur d’Alene Lake in Idaho and pay no attention to loud waterski boats; least Bell’s vireos continued to nest successfully in areas of Camp Pendelton adjacent to the landing and taking off of helicopters and V-22 Boeing Ospreys.

It is obvious that a good percentage of the images posted in Naturescapes are derived from non-pristine conditions, either at feeders, from boats and automobiles, baited blinds and hides, etc.  Are these now to be avoided?  I’d like to hear dialogue from some of the professional guides and authors on this issue.  Alan Murphy, Glenn Bartley, Nate Chappell, are you there?
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by Mike in O on Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:29 pm
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Common sense prevails here...if a bird is going to be harmed (you know the drill, if you feed the bird and it attract predators, you are not doing the bird any favors).  Certain species are much more tolerant of humans than others (some get very habituated) but if you as a photographer don't care how you get the shot, then there is something wrong with you.  These animals are working in a narrow view of the world while we humans are allowed a much broader view so we should use it wisely.
 

by Karl Egressy on Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:56 am
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Here we go again.
Birders go against photographers.
I was a birder for many years before I got into bird photography.
I witnessed many awful things that they did just to get more check marks on their, daily, monthly, seasonally etc.list.
Bird calls?
The use it all the time. They do "pissing" which brings many birds close to the observer and they also use recorded calls
as well as bird calls and song imitations with their mouth.
Taking pictures?
It is OK for a birder to go very close to the bird with their short lens to take a "just for the record" shot that they post on different forums.
Having been in both groups I think most photographers and most birders are decent people (photographers are more so :) ) but some of them are awful, that's the truth.
By the way I respect WD Carrier very much. He is a very smart man with a long lifetime professional experience and he is right.
Many of the claims birders do is pure fallacy.
 

by OntPhoto on Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:09 am
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WDCarrier wrote:
I had a woman angrily address me for using a recorded bird call to attract a yellow warbler.  She claimed it stressed the bird to think there was another male in its territory.  I asked her to show me her data on this.  She indicated it was the opinion of a well-known bird enthusiast.   I told her I was not interested in opinion but I’d gladly review any peer reviewed data on the subject.  She didn’t seem to think that the bird was stressed by her following it around to get a better look at it.  We’ve moved into a realm where “opinion” doesn’t seem to require facts to support it.


No text here.


Last edited by OntPhoto on Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:10 am
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Isn't it ironic that we can discuss how photographers can cause or not cause stress on birds and, at the same time, in an adjacent thread talk about using three or four flashes within extreme proximity to a hummingbird to get the best shot?

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by dougc on Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:17 am
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If using callers had any serious effect on the life of birds we would be waist deep in dead birds...
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:31 am
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dougc wrote:
If using callers had any serious effect on the life of birds we would be waist deep in dead birds...

Like when a shotgun is involved! :)
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by dougc on Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:20 pm
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This nonsense that animals never expend energy uselessly is ridiculous. The big cats often fail to subdue prey and they don't die as a result. They simply rest up and try again. If a male bird "wastes" energy by being fooled by a call they do not die as a result. Same answer, they rest up and go on about their business.
 

by baldsparrow on Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:02 pm
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dougc wrote:
This nonsense that animals never expend energy uselessly is ridiculous. The big cats often fail to subdue prey and they don't die as a result. They simply rest up and try again. If a male bird "wastes" energy by being fooled by a call they do not die as a result. Same answer, they rest up and go on about their business.



Yes, that is mostly true - the difference, and it is not insignificant, is that the energy loss has been imposed on the bird by a human and is generally avoidable. So really, the point of this is to ask why we should make life harder, even if only marginally so, for these creatures? Sibley, who has been quoted elsewhere, is not a bad guide to a compromise which guides us as to how to proceed but ideally, leave them in peace. If they show then take a picture, if not just move along and come back another day.
 

by dougc on Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:29 pm
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Man is just one of many species that can/will disrupt other animal's lives. If you feel guilty about it, find another pursuit.
 

by baldsparrow on Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:06 pm
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dougc wrote:
Man is just one of many species that can/will disrupt other animal's lives. If you feel guilty about it, find another pursuit.


You are missing the point - which is that we do not have to cause disruption by using recordings. That's all. I, and many others, choose not to.
 

by dougc on Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:30 pm
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I see your point and to each his own. FYI, I don't use calls either.
 

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