• Treat the birds, wildlife, plants, and places as if you were their guest.
• Do not disturb birds that are nesting or feeding young.
• Take care not to flush resting or roosting birds — they need their rest, too.
• Respect local, state, and federal laws protecting birds and other wildlife.
• Stay on trails to lessen impacts to vegetation and wildlife.
• Treat others courteously.
• Report inappropriate behavior to the proper authorities.
• Limit use of artificial means to attract birds, especially in heavily birded areas.
• If a bird stops its normal behavior as a result of a birder's or photographer's activity, the birder or photographer is intruding and should move away.
• Ask before joining other nature photographers already taking pictures.
Ethical issues about wild birds have arisen in Florida history since the mid-nineteenth century when large numbers of birds, particularly egrets, were killed for their plumes that were used in the millinery trade. More recent issues include: loss of birds from pesticide contamination, mortality of nocturnally migrating songbirds at communication towers, feral and domestic cats as bird predators, disturbance of colonially-nesting birds by photographers, and disturbance of beach-nesting birds by people and dogs. Join FOS and learn how you can help with both the science and action.
“ I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially. ”