Good Questions, Chris.
> On 20 Sep 2016, at 9:45 AM, Chris Watson <> wrote:
> G’day all,
> This post might be interpreted as vaguely rebarbative but I’m genuinely
> interested in having this discussion.
> After posting about some forthcoming trips to see Letter-winged Kites, I,
> and by extension Mark Carter who organised the trips I would be running,
> received what amounted to an uninformed public dressing down from a
> researcher who suggested that the proposed trips posed a risk to the
> welfare and nesting success of the birds. This public response was made
> without contacting us beforehand to establish our own understanding of the
> relevant issues and ignored the fact that the ethical parameters of the
> trips were clearly and prominently outlined in my post.
> I thought it was completely uncalled for but… such is life in the online
> It left us in a, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation in which
> we decided the only recourse was the prompt cancellation of the trips so
> the finger could not be pointed at us in the event that any nests did fail,
> for any reason.
> Fast-forward a couple of months however, and it’s difficult not to be
> perturbed by the double-standard on show. At the time of my post, the
> breeding sites were a poorly-kept secret already. They are now completely
> public. Nests have been visited by, conservatively, dozens of birdwatchers
> and photographers and a cursory look through online birding groups reveals
> hundreds of images from the sites, many of them with locations very
> specifically identified or identifiable. Without doubt, there are pictures
> online which have been taken from within 30 metres of an active nest when I
> was publicly warned to remain a minimum of 300m distant from any nesting
> activity. A quick look through public eBird lists from the region shows
> people submitting annotated lists, detailing nesting activity at specific
> All of this is occurring on publicly viewable sites and social media
> accounts – where’s the disapprobation now?
> When it was two trained zoologists, with the requisite wildlife permits,
> suggesting showing these amazing birds to people under supervision that
> would ensure the birds’ welfare was prioritised, we were admonished for our
> perceived lack of consideration.
> Why is the entire birding community, which is usually red-hot in scotching
> the publicising of nest sites for Grey Falcon, Princess Parrot, etc, now
> complicit in the tacit approval of this blatant show-casing of specific
> breeding sites for a nationally endangered bird in such an accessible
> I’m prepared for many to write this off as sour grapes on my part but it’s
> also a serious question.
> Why are we letting this happen?
> Chris Watson
> *Mob - 0419 358 942*
> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
> <BR> http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org
<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit: