More on spotlighting

Subject: More on spotlighting
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 11:55:43 +1000

Murray Lord
03/03/97 11:55

Kim Lim's posting raises something I have wondered about with spotlighting
birds.  Can they be harmed by having the light shone straight at them?

I normally try not to put the centre of a light on a bird.  Recently I was
told by someone who has done quite a bit of spotlighting that he always
shines the light directly at the bird so as to stun it a bit and reduce the
chances of it flying away (I could make the comment that he was a twitcher,
but I have no intention of provoking anyone...).

I use a 35 W halogen light, and it certainly hurts my eyes if it is shone
even remotely towards me.  However a couple of months ago I was
spotlighting a Boobook, and I tried shining the light straight at it.  What
surprised me was that the bird would look around and then look straight at
me.  In other words it didn't make any effort to avoid looking straight at
the light, yet I don't believe it was because the light dazzled it.  Does
that prove birds don't mind the light being shone straight at them?

One other thing that is worth bearing in mind when you buy a spotlight is
that it is useful to have a set up that allows you two hands to hold
binoculars.  Maybe a miner's hard hat with the light attached would be the
best solution!

Murray Lord

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