Saturday, 14 May 2011

Unacceptable Behaviour for Wildlife Photographers

Dave and I have said on more times that I care to remember that the most important thing about the wildlife that we enjoy is that the welfare and well being of the wildlife ALWAYS comes first.  We have linked the Wildlife Photographers code many times, and I have just added it here again.

But with new technology comes new opportunities and it seems that the use of SmartPhones apps for bird calls are now getting the attention in the mainstream media.

Now, notwithstanding the fact that lazy journalists clearly cannot understand the difference between twitchers, birdwatchers, and wildlife photographers, the message here for me in this link from the Daily Telegraph is clear and stark.

The use of bird calls will lure a bird via distress behaviour (Problem No 1).  It could cause it to leave the nest and therefore place it at risk of predation (Problem no 2), so the wildlife has been disturbed in the eyes of the law.

To me this is pure laziness on behalf of whoever the user of such apps for this purpose.  Just be patient, wait for the moment when the subject is prepared to show itself and rely on your own fieldcraft

So if you see, hear or know of anybody that uses this technique, then please remind them of the law, and if they don't, well I hope the law gets them.  In which case that is problems No 3 for the individual concerned.

On a wider note, this sort of behaviour gets the rest of us a bad reputation.  We should guard our reputation jealously.  Our wildlife in this country faces too many other problems from farming practices, loss of habitat, and illegal persecution - it doesn't need anymore problems.

To other blog readers and/or writers, I would be grateful if you could please link this story and lets make sure the wildlife photographic community keeps its sensible head on.

Enjoy your weekend



  1. I completely agree with you on this Martin, I think I've mentioned it to you before about several togs' that have been up here using this method. I was told by someone from the RSPB that the problem has been getting proof - let's hope that with many SLRs now having video that proof can be obtained easier. Robbie

  2. Its widespread here in the States where many well known photographers use this method and its not seen as a problem, I personally have never used it and never will,You can download an app to your smart phone cheaply and thats the problem-the phone is always with you and too easy to 'cheat' and get an easy result

  3. I've heard it being done here a number of times, once on a Schedule 1 breeding bird, the other was a rare bird (3rd for Britain)that then stopped feeding and then became very anxious.

  4. Hi,

    Nice blog! Wildlife is usually difficult to approach thus knowledge of the animal's behavior is needed in order to be able to predict actions. The need for advanced photographic equipment likes long lenses. While wildlife photography can be taken using basic equipment it is made easier with advanced equipment. Thank you.

    Birth Of a Manta Ray