Photography and disturbing birds (long)

To: Steve <>, <>
Subject: Photography and disturbing birds (long)
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 16:50:22 +1000
Nah!  That wasn't "bird-disturbing".  Relax Steve, and enjoy your

Here are examples of REAL bird-disturbing.  To save Russell any possible
embarrassment, I won't name names.

Decades ago, I was (as a N Parks officer) on Lakefield (C. York Peninsula)
in a party which included a prominent Courier-Mail photographer of the day.
We approached a lake with a large number of birds.  Photographer runs at the
birds, shouting and waving his arms, so he can get a spectacular shot of the
lake with all the birds taking off.

You think that's bad?  You "ain't heard nothing!"

Some 20 years ago, a book on Australian birds was published which features
many spectacular photos of birds feeding their young - often an action shot
of a bird in mid-air just in front of the nest, food in beak, and chicks
with beaks wide open.  My information (which I regarded as reliable) was
that the photographer would set up his camera, appropriately focussed, and
then deliberately stand near the nest to keep the parents away long enough
for them and their chicks to be absolutely frantic.  Then he'd move away and
get these spectacular action shots; sometimes even get both parents in the

Now that (if correct) really was highly reprehensible disturbance.  :-(



> From: "Steve" <>
> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 17:45:54 +1000
> To: <>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Photography and disturbing birds (long)
> The first time I had entered the water
> to outflank the birds so that I could get some light behind me without
> walking directly up to the birds when a Whistling Kite put them to air. The
> notion that I was pushing them further and further up the spit until they
> had nowhere to go is just wrong (the birds were at the end of the spit
> before I went out there anyway). The birds then landed on the narrow spit
> between myself and the mainland.  I then walked back towards them taking
> shots as I was slowly moving towards them. I then had to try to get past
> them and unfortunately they took to the air. For that I am sorry, perhaps I
> should have taken to the water again. 


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