birding-aus Birds and call playback

Subject: birding-aus Birds and call playback
From: Birds Australia Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 15:20:32 +1000
Hi everybody -

There have been some recent comments on the potential side-effects of call
playback.  The following is an extract from the BA guidelines for
recreational birdwatching:

"The use of tapes of bird calls and of bird callers or other forms of
mimicry can distress the species whose call is being played and may disrupt
feeding and/or breeding activity.  Artificial bird calls should not be used
in or within earshot of locations where the land owner or manager has
requested that they not be used or where this may interfere with ongoing
research projects.  Tapes should not be played at individual birds for
extended periods of time and should not be played at louder volume than
that of the target bird.  The use of such devices should be kept to a
minimum, particularly in areas of high visitation by birders where play
back by other birders may well have occurred in the recent past.
Responsible use of tapes can be valuable in locating cryptic birds without
causing serious harm; however, it is a skilled activity and should not be
taken lightly.  If in doubt, avoid the use of tapes."


Hugo Phillipps
Communications Coordinator
Birds Australia
415 Riversdale Road
HAWTHORN EAST 3123, Australia
tel: (03) 9882 2622, fax: (03) 9882 2677
email: <>
Web site: <>

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