Date: 6/30/17 7:34 pm
From: Fran M <franmmmk...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: Re: IBET Rare Illinois breeding birds, birding ethics and the law
"No tapes/recordings were played to bring the bird in closer to view or
photograph… though* I have used my fair share of recordings to attract some
of these rare birds*, both *as a birder*, and as a biologist sanctioned to
use playbacks of such birds to discover if they are present, for detection
in the work I do."

This is confusing. You use recordings to attract rare birds as a birder? Is
this what you meant to say?

Fran Morel
Evanston, Cook Co.

On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 8:18 PM, 'Bailey, Steven D' <sdbailey...>
[ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> It has come to my attention that some recent actions of a number of
> Illinois birders, including experienced birders have resulted in the
> harassment of one of Illinois’s rarest breeding birds, in an area where it
> may be breeding or attempting to breed. I have been asked by respected
> biologists and naturalists to comment on the situation. I’ve been an active
> birder in Illinois for more than 45 years, and have conducted
> ornithological research with Illinois’s oldest scientific organization, the
> Illinois Natural History Survey for almost 35 years.
>
>
>
> Over those years, I have been lucky enough to see and hear some of the
> state’s rarest resident bird species, as well as some of its rarest
> migrants and vagrant species. A large majority of these uncommon to rare
> birds were seen and heard simply by careful stalking of the bird in the
> areas they were originally found, or where I lucked upon them. No
> tapes/recordings were played to bring the bird in closer to view or
> photograph… though I have used my fair share of recordings to attract some
> of these rare birds, both as a birder, and as a biologist sanctioned to use
> playbacks of such birds to discover if they are present, for detection in
> the work I do. For my work, these recordings are most often used during the
> breeding season, as that is when much of my field research occurs. Such use
> of recorded playbacks of both common and state threatened and endangered
> species is limited, done with the permission I have through the work I need
> to do.
>
>
>
> Limited playback of most bird species songs and calls has become a regular
> item in the avid birders’ “arsenal” of ways to attract and see the large
> variety of birds that can be found in Illinois and elsewhere. However,
> there are some ethical/moral considerations to be observed by anyone who
> wants to be a conscientious birder.
>
>
>
> Let’s start with the more moral/ethical considerations, and for birders,
> maybe the best place to look is in the American Birding Association’s (ABA)
> stated ABA Code of Ethics – specifically
>
>
>
> “1(b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise
> restraint and caution during
>
> observation, photography, sound recording or filming.
>
>
>
> Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and
> never use such methods in *heavily birded areas* (my underscore) or for
> attracting any species that is *Threatened, Endangered, of Special
> Concern, or is rare in your local area* (again, my underscore).
>
>
>
> *1(c)* Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the
> potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people
> in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance
> minimized, and permission has been obtained from private landowners. *The
> sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to the proper
> conservation authorities* (again my underscore).”
>
>
>
> Though David Sibley seems to be more pro than con on the issue of using
> playback calls of birds, even he states that, “It is also illegal to
> disturb any endangered or threatened species (and playback can be
> interpreted as disturbance). Any potential negative impacts of playback are
> more likely to occur in areas with a lot of birding pressure, so avoiding
> playback entirely in those places is a good idea.”
>
>
>
>
>
> Birders need to remember that from May through August (some species even
> earlier or a little later), much of the Illinois birds are in the process
> of breeding… whether that be courting a partner, building a nest, laying
> and incubating eggs or feeding nestlings or fledglings. Many birds at these
> times need to be treated with even more respect and consideration than the
> rest of the year… such that playing a tape/recording for that rare vagrant
> that just showed up does not usually require the caution and care needed in
> trying to get the same kind of view of a rare, state threatened or state
> endangered breeding bird species. Additionally, an obvious migratory flock
> of state endangered Wilson’s Phalaropes at a local fluddle, or that
> wintering Short-eared Owl in a large alfalfa field, doesn’t need the same
> kind of caution that a breeding pair of either species would necessitate.
>
> Just the act of using a playback call of any Illinois state threatened or
> endangered bird species is illegal. The "taking" of a listed species
> is considered breaking the law, and "harassing" is defined within the
> parameters of an illegal "taking. From state law:
>
>
>
> (520 ILCS 10/1) (from Ch. 8, par. 331)
> Sec. 1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Illinois
> Endangered Species Protection Act". "Take" means, in reference to animals
> and animal products, to harm, hunt, shoot, pursue, lure, wound, kill,
> destroy, *harass,* gig, spear, ensnare, trap, capture, collect, or to
> attempt to engage in such conduct.
>
>
>
> I hope that Illinois’ birding community can find it within themselves to
> exhibit good ethical and moral behavior when trying to add that new lifer
> to their lists, especially for the next couple of months when birds are
> raising their young to fledging. It is already a very stressful period for
> rare, threatened and endangered birds.
>
> Borrowing from a line I read: Remember, when a bird responds to a
> recording, it is no longer foraging, caring for eggs or chicks, preening,
> resting or otherwise doing the activities it needs to survive – all because
> it is chasing a fake bird.
>
> Constantly chasing competitors stresses the bird, and unlimited recording
> use can dramatically impact birds. Let’s not let our own selfish
> wants/needs override the safe and successful outcome of some rare Illinois
> breeding bird’s attempt. We don’t want to become another hindrance or
> challenge that such rare species must overcome. Good birding!
>
>
>
> Steve Bailey
>
> Mundelein (Lake County)
>
> <sdbailey...>
>
>
>

 
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