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10-12-2020, 08:16 AM - 4 Likes   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
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If I have one issue with any of the excellent birding shots on the forum it would be that so often the birds are there because of a nest. That being said this image

Was taken right in front of Niagara Falls. The female Redwinged blackbird was sitting on this bush, her nest was inside the bush, (and was within reach of anyone who really wanted to get to it.) I was paying attention but never saw her going into the bush to the nest. She was accomplished at making sure no one was looking. There were hundreds of people there every day within a few feet , and she seemed comfortable with the situation. So there are birds and then there are birds. This bird chose this spot and was comfortable with people. I like to think when I see shots taken near nests that the birds are so habituated to humans, that they don't really mind. So, it's never black and white. I would be completely against behaviour that kept birds off their nests or from feeding thier young, but usually you can't tell from the pictures if that's the case. (so, you can't judge, you just have to hope people are ethical taking their images.)

In any case, the wildlife / birder advice from many sources is "go to places where there are habituated animals." Some might think that's cheating but it's universal.

Pine Marins are pretty rare, we have a few that are habituated in Algonquin park, people come from all over NA (and I've even met a few from England) to get pictures of these animals, because it's so hard to find them in the wild. So people travel hundreds or thousands of miles for the chance at an almost guaranteed, easy to take image. This guy is in an area where people feed birds, looking for nuts and seeds. The snow on his nose is from digging them out of the snow. He might look a little ferocious, but he's just chewing his food. (At least this time, they've snarled at me before.)

Last edited by normhead; 10-12-2020 at 08:37 AM.
10-12-2020, 03:07 PM - 1 Like   #17
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RobG's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Canberra
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
In any case, the wildlife / birder advice from many sources is "go to places where there are habituated animals." Some might think that's cheating but it's universal.
That makes sense - great photos by the way! In the case of birds, they often congregate around picnic areas and the like because there's food around, so often I find it may be easier to photograph birds around areas where there's people simply because there's more birds, but also they're more out in the open (and unfortunately in many cases, unnaturally aggressive).

Personally, I'm an opportunistic wildlife photographer - I photograph what I happen to see along the way on a walk. I've never had the time or patience to make a hide and stake out a location. Hopefully as a result my effect on the birds I see is minimal.

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