Saturday, January 16, 2010

Birding Etiquette and Psychology

Birding Etiquette
Ethics and Etiquette are different. Etiquette is a set of rules about being courteous. Here are some aspects of etiquette.

-Be quiet when birding. Beyond harming the birds comfort when you *flush* birds from their area, you now have made many other observers have to move as well.

-Stick together ... Many eyes are better then one pair of eyes.
-Car pool ... environmentally friendly thing to do.

-Share sightings selectively - Its good to share sightings, but you should be careful to announce the presense of a very rare bird. Some people may flock to see the bird you have reported and they may have poor birding ethics and force the bird to leave and relcate to a more desolate area.

-Dont over-correct people... its good to correct someone if they confuse a downy vs hairy woodpecker, but do this in a way that respects the persons experience. In some cases, it may be better not to correct someone. Let them enjoy their observations at their level.

-Step out of the way


Birding Psychology --- PISHING

Ive actally thought recently about birding sociology. Do birds have different song dialects that are regionally different, just like humans have different French Italian, or any language dialects

Birding Pschology would be an interesting field to study as well. I have googled this term and came up with nothing. One article talked about how Psychology is about the cognition, learning, memory, of a bird, which is poorly understood.  A few basic observations or things I have learnt about bird psychology would be Pishing.

Pishing is making a *pisssshhhhh , pishhhhh, pishhhhh* noise. For some reason, this attracts birds. There was a good video on this phenonmina but I have lost track of it. I tried to find it on youtube and nothing really useful was there with my quick search.

Another pishing sound would be to make a kissing sound on the back of your hand. Yet another could be to simply whistle any bird call you hear.

Results:  I have tried pishing and I noticed that it works for certain birds, like black capped chickadees for example.

Ethical connection: You should not pish too much, because we do not know why birds respond to pishing, and you may affect a birds natural response to this sound if you overuse it.

Counting ability- Birds can only count to one. I heard that if two people walk to a blind, and one leaves, a bird would assume both people have left, because it cant count to two. I do not recall where I read this.

Inabiltiy to recognize its reflection. I observed a bird sitting on the window ledge of my Honda Civic for at least 15 minutes trying to intimidate its reflection in my rear view side mirrors.

1 comment:

  1. I have been vigorously birding for 1 year, like you! I thought I new quite a bit about birds their names and such, but when I really started looking I found I knew nothing. I honestly hadn't really seen a Warbler of any kind only recalling fleeting glimpses of something yellow and small. Binoculars made the difference and the diligent mentoring of my friends. I joined the Audubon Chapter in my area and am now in charge of GET THIS of Field Trips. Whenever I am out in the wilds I have my binoculars and my camera strapped to me. I have a feeling now of the seasons and what I might see. An idea of the natural flow of nature in a way I did not before.



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