ETIQUETTE TIPS FOR BIRDERS

Keep quiet: Turn off cell phone ringers and hold quiet conversations. Excessive noise can scare off nearby birds.

Step aside: When birding on a trail, step off the path to observe a bird so that hikers, joggers, bikers and other birders are not forced to go around you.

Share: Be willing to share field guides, scopes, and other birding equipment.

Offer a bird's eye view: Don’t walk in front of others to improve your own vantage point. If you do have a good view of a shy bird, offer to move aside.


Be patient: Expect birders of all experience levels. When a bird is spotted that you are familiar with, do not assume that everyone else also knows the bird well. Be patient with new birders so they have the opportunity to see even everyday birds well.

Small groups: Many organized birding field trips have limited participation numbers for good reason: the more people there are in the group, the more likely the birds will be disturbed and difficult to see.

Share rides: Carpooling is not only environmentally conscious, but it also ensures a smaller caravan of birders that will be less likely to disturb birds in each area.  

Pay attention: Most birding field trips are organized by one or two guides who are familiar with the area and its birds. Guides may offer tips about nearby birding locations or warnings about restricted areas or local dangers.

Share sightings: More pairs of eyes focused on the area means more birders ready to contribute to the bird's identification. When you see a bird, offer clues to its location based on surrounding trees, brush, or other landmarks. A polite birder is courteous not only to the birds but also to other birders and individuals who share the same trails and paths. Courteous behavior is contagious, and by following good birding etiquette, birders can share their love of birds in a polite and enthusiastic way.