An interesting dilemma has been much discussed on the Minnesota Birding
Network of late, which I thought would be of interest to Aus-birders
(following the discussion on ship-assisted birds a while ago).
A Pygmy Nuthatch was sighted in Fargo, a town in North Dakota on the
border with Minnesota. (The border is delineated by the Red River of
the North.) This bird is not currently on the Minnesota bird list...
Some enterprising birdos thought that it would be really neat to be add
this bird to the list, so set out for the Minnesota side of the border
opposite where the Pygmy Nuthatch had been seen. Armed with a tape
with Pygmy Nuthatch calls, they managed to lure the bird into Minnesota
and onto the list. Or did they?
According to the ABA listing rules, the use of a tape to obtain the
listing is permitted: "an otherwise wild bird that voluntarily uses or
is attracted to a feeder, nest box, tape recorder, ship at sea, or other
non-natural device without being touched or captured is still
considered to be wild" [and therefore countable].
However, the ABA Code of Birding Ethics states:
"1(b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise
restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording,
Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and
never use such methods in heavily birded areas or for attracting any
species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, or is
rare in your local area."
So while the listing is technically acceptable, it probably isn't ethical.
If it isn't ethical, should the listing be ruled unacceptable?
For a local spin on the situation, imagine a bird is seen in Albury that
would be a Victorian first (or, a bird in Wodonga that would be a NSW first).
1) Would you try and lure the bird across the Murray to claim the tick?
2) If someone else did, do you believe the listing should be accepted?
No kicking, gouging or scratching... :)
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