Minimal Impact Bird Watching

  • Avoid disturbing birds and their habitats.
  • Be an ambassador for bird watching.
  • Know the laws and rules for visiting the countryside and follow them.
  • Send your sightings to the county bird recorder and www.birdtrack.net
  • Think about the interests of wildlife and local people before passing on the news of a rare bird, especially during the breeding season.
  • Whether your particular interest is photography, ringing, sound recording or bird watching, remember that the interests of the bird must always come first.
  • Avoid going too close to birds or disturbing their habitats – if a bird flies away or makes repeated alarm calls, you are too close. And if it leaves, you won’t get a good view.
  • Stay on roads and paths where they exist to minimise habitat disturbance.
  • Think about your field craft. Disturbance is not just about going too close – a flock of wading birds on the foreshore can be disturbed from a mile away if you are standing on the seawall.
  • Repeatedly playing a recording of birdsong or calls to encourage a bird to respond can divert a territorial bird from other important duties, such as feeding its young. Never use playback to attract a species during its breeding season.
  • Respond positively to questions from interested passers-by. They may not be bird watchers yet, but a good view of a bird or a helpful answer may light a spark of interest. Your enthusiasm could start a lifetime’s interest in birds and a greater appreciation of wildlife and its conservation.
  • Consider using local services such as petrol stations, shops, restaurants and public transport. Raising awareness of the benefits to local communities from visiting bird watchers mat, ultimately, help the birds themselves.