I find birding a lot of fun, so I will go somewhere locally where a special or
new bird has been seen but I won't travel long distances or to out of the way
places just to see a particular bird, other than a birding tour to see a part
of the country I haven't seen.
My greatest thrill is when I go somewhere to watch and a special or new bird
turns up while i am watching-what a privilege! I hope I never feel driven to
disturb a threatened or endangered bird so I for one am not going to see Night
The number on our lists are entirely an ego thing and is entirely different
from conservation and protection of habitat which is about putting the welfare
of the bird first.
On 04/07/2013, at 13:03, Denise Goodfellow <> wrote:
> Hi Simon
> Some tour operators do behave badly, as happened with the Red Goshawk at
> Mataranka. I know from experience (30 years as a birding/natural history
> guide) that Tourism NT promoted any operator who ran bird tours no matter
> how little experience they had or what they did to show clients birds. As
> long as they had the right permits, public liability insurance and were
> 'accredited' they were taken on board. On raising issues of bad behaviour
> I was accused of professional jealousy.
> However, private individuals appear to be a bigger problem, as with the
> Goshawk, and also at Leanyer Sewage Ponds - there the manager was so upset
> by the behaviour of some that he threatened to have any birder found in
> there without a permit, arrested.
> American birders involved in my PhD research sometimes mentioned a dislike
> of guides who disturbed birds. But again, in the opinion of respondents
> (who included some of the US's top birders) private individuals were more
> often the problem, and in particular photographers. Interestingly the main
> reason given for disliking photographers was not the welfare of the birds
> they disturbed, but that they could prevent a birder from seeing a target
> Conservation is not a top priority for some really serious listers (I don't
> have time at the moment to dig up the research on this, but it is around).
> Indeed, the American Birding Association was founded by birders more
> interested in the activity as competition and 'sport'.
> The ABA is now promoting conservation as are many other birding
> organisations all over the world. Yet some birders will join an organisation
> that promotes conservation, and even donate to such causes. However, their
> desire to "collect" a target species can over-ride all sense of what's right
> (and safe, in some instances). And that goes for some guides as well.
> One couple (again PhD respondents) reported that on a South American trip
> they left a guide and his other clients who spent hours bashing bushes in
> the hope of seeing one particular species.
> Other guides or tour operators will go along with whatever their client
> wants. A pet hate of American respondents who were not mad keen listers was
> guides who bowed to the wishes of clients who would do anything to see a
> bird. So when training Indigenous relatives in Arnhem Land as
> birding/natural history guides I ran a course on how to deal with
> inappropriate behaviour by clients (and tour operators), and that included
> birders or photographers likely to pressure them to chase particular
> species. However, because of the difficulty some were likely to encounter
> dealing with such people, I excluded them as a market.
> As long as there are listers with the resources and the obsession, the
> welfare of birds will run a poor second to the 'list'.
> Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
> PO Box 71, Darwin River,
> NT 0841
> 043 8650 835
> PhD candidate, SCU
> Vice-chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia
> Nominated for the Condé Nast international ecotourism award, 2004 by the
> American website, Earthfoot.
> Wildlife Adviser, BBC¹s ŒDeadly 60¹
> On 3/7/13 4:36 PM, "Simon Clayton" <> wrote:
>> Hi David,
>> I agree with your approach to bird conservation & tourism for sought after
>> species. The welfare of the bird must come first, particularly with
>> Threatened species. Good points
>> I think most birders are prepared to pay to view a bird, for the habitat
>> conservation of the rare species they may see, it may well be beneficial for
>> the species & associated ecosystems.
>> Unfortunately, some tourism operators do use call-playback, spotlighting and
>> other disturbance during the breeding season of threatened species, for
>> profit, without the welfare of the birds in mind.
>> As a birding tourism business, we don't use call-playback, or spotlighting.
>> Night vision equipment is becoming more affordable, and disturbs the fauna
>> less, and we are having success with this viewing Masked Owls here, amongst
>> other fauna. Hopefully any money from those prepared to pay to see Night
>> Parrot, will support their conservation by doing it responsibly.
>> Simon Clayton
>> Birdrangers, Gibraltar Reserve
>> Cangai, NSW, 2460
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