For the Love of Birds

It’s been overdue for me to create my “Best of Birds 2017” video clip to share with all of you. At long last, I hope you enjoy many of the captures included in my video.

Someone had commented to me as to How Many Hours Were Spent in the Field for me to achieve these images. And you know..I never truly thought about it. But she was right. Lots of lots of hours were spent to get this collection. This being said, I don’t spend nearly as many hours as I should in working with a subject, mainly because I have many irons in the fire and usually duty is calling me to attend to.

I know of those that have the ability to spend hours and hours, days upon days to achieve the one image that they want. Perfect light, perfect angle with the bird either flying or flapping their wings with perfect even light throughout. Usually most of these individuals that I know that can do this are…MEN. It’s just not fair, as a married lady I have wifely duties to attend to and that significantly cuts into my hours in the field time.

Also as a horse owner, there is a term known as a “Horse Husband” these are men whose wives are absent because they are off riding and showing their horses. Wonder if there is a term “Bird Husband” that could apply here? I think it should.

And so I ramble a little. The point I’m leading to is that these photographers that have ample time on their hands are starting to build a secret club where they know where the birds are and are keeping the information to themselves. They’ve been known to take over space in a public national park and not allow others to approach or even be in the vicinity as they are considered to be intruders. They’ve also been seen baiting the birds with food which isn’t good for them. Which has of course, annoyed the park rangers.

So I’m wondering what happened to birding ethics and courtesy in the field? One of these people have even schooled me to “Not tell people” where the locations of birds are so that they can keep the place to themselves. What happened to sharing?

Now granted, after the whole Snowy Owl fiasco (which by the way, the owls are now hiding from humans) I agree that it is not good to advertise findings. But in most instances this information is readily available through online outlets like local birding clubs and social media.

I’m seeing now that these people aren’t even listing the locations of the images captured even a year ago so that they can keep the places to themselves. I have mixed feelings about this as yes, I believe that some of the more sensitive finds should not be broadcast from the mountain top. But is it right that only a select few, chosen by themselves should be allowed to experience a finding? One can argue yes as they are the ones that found the bird/animal. Certainly the work that these people do are spectacular to say the least and I can understand them wanting to preserve the peacefulness of their locations.

The Snowy Owl drama that developed in Delaware and New Jersey has completely changed the philosophy of experienced bird photographers in our area ~ to share or not to share.

It makes sense though and proper judgement as to when it’s all right to share locations of findings, and when it isn’t is paramount. Having a blanket policy of “not-sharing” of any findings is exclusive and actually doesn’t assist environmental research and biologists.

I was taught to share and not to hog something all to myself. If we could all learn to be frugal with our time with wildlife and to allow others to enjoy it as well, then we can all benefit.

On an ironic note, The New York Times just published an article today on this same discussion.

6 replies »

  1. Yea your a girl! And a darn nice looking one…yea the males who have defective dna can spend more time than you. But you have the right dna…so you do better than dem with the time you can devote. Consider yourself as a Renniance Lady…you do so much more with less. You are still I learning and I see that. But your progress is off the Richter scale…so don’t look back Girl…..keep kickin’ butt!!! 🙂 Herb

  2. Beautiful images, Emily. I love the owl sneaking from the corner staring right at you! And the Humming Birds! How good of you to share and how mean of those who don’t. There are always going to be irresponsible people around, wherever you are in the world, but that’s no reason for the majority who care and delight in Nature and its creatures and who respect the rules to miss out on such wonders. A bird husband? I like the sound of that! 🐤🐤🐦🐦🐦🐦🐤

    • That was such a funny story about that owl Fatima. He’s a non-releasable bird and is well handled by his care taker who treats him like a baby. He likes to be coddled and would just lean over or upside down if you weren’t holding him like a baby. Hilarious !!

      You are right, there will always be irresponsible and inconsiderate people out there. Such a shame as it’s not hard to be quite the opposite. Thank you!

  3. Your work is beuatiful, Emily. This is a lovely collection of bird images. The sharing dilemma has no easy answer. There always will be individuals that don’t share well with others and those that are irresponsible in their behavior. Ongoing education of the public by conservation and nature organizations is key,

    • I agree, I think the more we talk about it and get it into mainstream communication venues – online, newspaper and magazine articles, schools, etc. the better we can all serve Mother Nature. Thank you so much for your kind comment.

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