Has eBird made people selfish with sightings?

To: Philip Veerman <>, 'COG Chat' <>
Subject: Has eBird made people selfish with sightings?
From: David Rees <>
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2019 02:33:34 +0000


Just remember, these days many farmers have biosecurity protocols in place either of their own or requested by customers (domestic and International), industry accreditation and or by legislation. That means that they need to regulate coming and going of visitors to their property, and prove they have done it.  There are also the new NSW laws on farm trespass to get at 'Animal rights activists'. Birdwatchers are not the target but they could get tangled up in this

I think its best to be cautious and behave decently and not enter private property without permission.  Personally in my time in Australia bird watching I have never encountered hostility from a land owner/lessee and on many occasions the exact opposite.  The vast majority of such folk don't see us as a threat relative to other sorts that may be out and about, illegal hunters,  'unauthorized 'borrowers' of stock, fuel and equipment, dirt bike riders come to mind, let us keep it that way.

The situation in the UK is bad because of the number of obsessive bird watchers, esp 'twitchers' who go after off-course vagrant birds, which the UK gets lots of due to it geographical location midway along a major flight way and not too far from the eastern US one. 


On 6/09/2019 3:43 pm, Philip Veerman wrote:

Many years ago (like in my teens and 20s) when out bird watching in rural areas, I recall myself and others (maybe even frequently or regularly) climbing through fences to look at birds if something was seen say in a paddock. This was not done to just explore something on the off chance, in that circumstance I would walk along the road or wait to encounter a suitable site. The thought I had back then was this was OK for plain wire fences that could be easily climbed through without any adverse impact on the fence. I would not walk through and over crops or do any damage. Now I am more aware and I have not done this for a long time. It is now much better protocol to have changed that habit. So yes I may have in Martin’s words sometimes seriously annoying the landholder but I rarely had that impression. Yes in all the years I recall a small number of interesting interactions. One place that I regularly assisted in the survey with someone else (this was 1980 to 1982 in SE Qld and there was a big farm dam with many waterbirds about 100 metres inside the farm gate), the land holder did approach us one time and say they had often noticed us and wondered what we were doing. When Graham explained it was for the national bird atlas, the guy said “We always thought you were Uranium prospectors”. Thinking back I now think it strange that seeing Graham had been surveying around that route every season for some years that he had not actually asked or informed that landholder. Yet in the context of then I did not see that activity as overly bad.  I wonder how many other readers would be honest to admit to this.


From: Martin Butterfield [m("","martinflab");">]
Sent: Friday, 6 September, 2019 11:55 AM
To: Ryu Callaway
Cc: COG Chat
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Has eBird made people selfish with sightings?


Geoffrey said 

"When the painted-snipe were reported at Lake Road I met one snapper who had driven a considerable distance, and had to be dissuaded from climbing the fence, something that would certainly have caused anxiety to the birds.  "

Not to mention seriously annoying the landholder!   This is a HUGE problem in the UK.  Read p111-2  of Mark Cocker's book "Birders : Tales of a tribe - especially for the odoriferous consequences.





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