I recently read a blog post that made me wonder if this blogger's opinions are widespread.
Last week, someone reported what they thought was a ‘new’ sighting for the park, when they returned downstate from a camping trip to this area that we visit at least once a month (more during migration). I had to chuckle because I’ve known of them for sometime now.. but I’m not a lister and rarely report my sightings. Birdchasers and I don’t mix well, so I keep most of my bird sightings to myself, as I do not wish to hear of a vagrant or rarity chased just so someone can check it off their list and say ‘ok, that’s another bird I have for the state/county/etc. Some time ago, I unjoined a Michigan ‘birding’ website when I was admonished for speaking out against baiting irruptive owls for photos, which didn’t bother me in the least because the group as a whole is unethical. I birded with them one time too many in the past, their only goal was to check off as many birds as fast and furious as they could, racing in circles, not stopping to even enjoy the bird. The owner of the website sets up webcams each year, exposing newly hatched chicks to the elements and receives kudos for ‘all of your hard work’. To claim to love birds then engage in practices that are potentially harmful to them is wrong in my book. To claim to have this deep affinity for and with the wild, then visit a nestsite again and again during the peak of breeding season goes against everything I believe in as a watcher of birds.
My good friend called yesterday, and we discussed the fact that Golden Eagles are nesting near both of us.. neither of us have turned in reports of the nests because we know that will ultimately lead to harassment and possibly abandoned nests. Someone would decide they need leg bands and the nests would need monitoring. Sorry, no dice. They’re doing fine on their own, regardless of how much we think we need to count birds, document them, band and then do it all over again for the sake of ’science’.
How often do you encounter birdwatchers and birders who hold these or similar views?