Date: 4/27/19 8:39 am
From: David Gibson <20cabot...>
Subject: [MDBirding] A bird photographer's cautionary tale
Hi all, I've watched and photographed a Killdeer family since before hatch. I wrote the following in another forum about what took place after I'd been watching the Killdeer family for over an hour (my most recent stretch):
"For no apparent reason, the parents decided to usher the chicks out of the meadow (lots of food, safety, and quiet), under the gate (they'd been in a gated preserve), across a busy road (there was no traffic at the time), onto some railroad tracks, and then to a small marshy area just beyond."

Well, I went back to the area this a.m. The family had returned to that meadow (the breeding site). I carefully moved in, and at a "safe distance" sat down and began taking pictures with my 500mm Canon. One photo is attached. In a matter of 4 or 5 minutes, the above scene played out all over again. The parents ushered their chicks out of the meadow and back to the railroad tracks. And I left the area with a clear understanding as to why they had done that in the first place. After I had written the above, someone responded and took me to task for "acting like a predator." This is a tough pill to swallow, but it turns out that she was probably right. And someone else has since reminded me that "it’s especially important during breeding season to give even more space to nature’s families."

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