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The Florida Ornithological Society Code of Ethics

For Nature Photographers and Birders 1

• 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.

1Based on codes developed by Tampa Audubon, Florida Audubon, and the American Birding Association.

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.