RE: Ethics of bird-watching

To: ozbird <>
Subject: RE: Ethics of bird-watching
From: "CONOLE, Lawrie" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 09:33:00 +1000
Thanks Stephen for cooling the debate down a bit.  It is important stuff
though, and I'd also like to echo what Susan said about the lack of
substantial discussion on this list.  The stamp collecting mode of
birding is interesting enough, and enjoyable, but it would be great to
have a few important issues discussed here in a robust manner from time
to time.

Combining two recent Birding-Aus themes, penguins & ethics, the Royal
Penguin in Portland was an interesting case.  In an email last week,
Hugo from RAOU warned us that the Royal seemed intolerant of people & to
keep a fair distance from the bird when viewing it.  When I got there on
Saturday morning the combined number of people including me was 6, and
we were as far away as possible whilst still having a line of sight to
the bird (maybe 20-25 metres).  We must have looked like a motley bunch
of King Penguins, because the Royal made its way towards us, stopping
only 3-4 metres away, preened a bit & then went back to sleep.  It
didn't appear aggressive or agitated, but quite relaxed, and without
wanting to anthropomorphise the bird's actions, it seemed to me that we
were serving as penguin surrogates for a colonial bird feeling a bit

Lawrie Conole
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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