Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-11-2020, 06:18 PM   #1
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
RobG's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Canberra
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,082
Photographing nests

I've noticed that groups in social media discourage photographing bird nests. I assume this is because the average person has a phone or a kit lens and they would be taking the photo at point blank range instead of a distance with a telephoto lens? I took a couple of photos of birds in nests recently - in the first case I didn't realise it was a nest, I just thought that a male was feeding a female in the midst of a bush, and in the second case the swallow has built a nest inside a birding hide, so I hope they were prepared for the number of people wandering in and out!
Is it a general rule these days to avoid photographing birds in nests? They used to be really popular photos when people were taking photos to publish.

10-11-2020, 06:29 PM - 2 Likes   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
pschlute's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Surrey, UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,644
QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Is it a general rule these days to avoid photographing birds in nests?
It has been for many years. Unless you can do so without disturbing the birds or the young...dont do it.
10-11-2020, 06:57 PM   #3
Pentaxian
swanlefitte's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Minneapolis
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,909
There is a tree in the middle of a park where people walk all the time. There is a robin nest in it. I tried getting a picture from 4 strides away and it disturbed the male. To get a clear shot would definitely stress the bird out. I left it at that with an unusable shot. The nest was abandoned but I think it built it during covid lockdown not knowing people would be there.
If you think about how close you can get to a bird on a branch before it feels uncomfortable and flies away, why would it feel comfortable with you closer to its babies.
10-11-2020, 07:29 PM - 1 Like   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Mooncatt's Avatar

Join Date: May 2020
Location: Wisconsin
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 996
QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
It has been for many years. Unless you can do so without disturbing the birds or the young...dont do it.
A rule or not, I think most wildlife photographers try not to disturb the animals.

I happened to get... I hesitate to say lucky, due to the circumstances... Had the chance to photograph a robin nest with an egg in it a few months back. Where I work, we have an elevated rack to load tankers from the top manholes. Robins love building nests there despite us always working mere feet from where they put the nests. One laid a single egg, but seemed to almost immediately abandon it. I was able to snap a photo before the egg was taken by whatever got to it. Due to where the nest was, it's not like we could avoid it anyway. To do so would mean shutting the entire planet down due to not being able to load the trailers.

10-11-2020, 07:33 PM - 1 Like   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,508
If you disturb them at the nest you're too close. Wildlife agents will close down access to nesting areas for some species. I know some areas on islands around here (Hampstead, NC) that are roped off much of the year for nesting. Back in Ohio bald eagle nest sites were roped off. A few years ago a building manager was going to let me and a few other photographers on the roof of a 14 floor building, but when we got there he apologized and said the wildlife agents had locked off the roof, apparently the peregrine falcons had started building their nests. Wildlife organizations and conservation groups and even the various state and federal governments have invested a lot of effort and money into helping many endangered species recover. Species like the bald eagles and peregrine falcons, two of the species nearly wiped out by pesticide use have made great recoveries after the ban of DDT, and protection and re-establishment of their nesting areas.
10-11-2020, 07:38 PM - 2 Likes   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 1,160
QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
It has been for many years. Unless you can do so without disturbing the birds or the young...dont do it.
This holds for any kind of wildlife photography or viewing, not just birds in a nest. If your presence is disrupting the subjects' natural behaviors, you are way too close.
10-11-2020, 07:40 PM - 1 Like   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,508
QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
A rule or not, I think most wildlife photographers try not to disturb the animals.

I happened to get... I hesitate to say lucky, due to the circumstances... Had the chance to photograph a robin nest with an egg in it a few months back. Where I work, we have an elevated rack to load tankers from the top manholes. Robins love building nests there despite us always working mere feet from where they put the nests. One laid a single egg, but seemed to almost immediately abandon it. I was able to snap a photo before the egg was taken by whatever got to it. Due to where the nest was, it's not like we could avoid it anyway. To do so would mean shutting the entire planet down due to not being able to load the trailers.
Robins sometimes build nests in entirely stupid locations, a few years ago a pair built a nest on top of my neighbor's fence post, wind blew it off before a cat, hawk, or owl could get to it it. Mourning doves used to love to build nests in my wife's hanging flower baskets. One year we had three of the four baskets had dove nests.

I think covid has succeeded in nearly shutting the entire planet down, sorry, I know you meant plant but I couldn't help it.

10-11-2020, 07:56 PM - 2 Likes   #8
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
RobG's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Canberra
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,082
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
It has been for many years. Unless you can do so without disturbing the birds or the young...dont do it.
Which makes perfect sense. I guess it's hard to judge the "without disturbing them" part. I should mention that I have never gone out of my way to look for nests, but I know some photographers that do.

---------- Post added 12-10-20 at 01:58 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
There is a tree in the middle of a park where people walk all the time. There is a robin nest in it. I tried getting a picture from 4 strides away and it disturbed the male. To get a clear shot would definitely stress the bird out. I left it at that with an unusable shot. The nest was abandoned but I think it built it during covid lockdown not knowing people would be there.
If you think about how close you can get to a bird on a branch before it feels uncomfortable and flies away, why would it feel comfortable with you closer to its babies.
Fair enough. With the DFA 150-450 you could photograph from a reasonable distance, depending on the size of the nest.

---------- Post added 12-10-20 at 02:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
A rule or not, I think most wildlife photographers try not to disturb the animals.
Likewise.


QuoteQuote:
I happened to get... I hesitate to say lucky, due to the circumstances... Had the chance to photograph a robin nest with an egg in it a few months back. Where I work, we have an elevated rack to load tankers from the top manholes. Robins love building nests there despite us always working mere feet from where they put the nests. One laid a single egg, but seemed to almost immediately abandon it. I was able to snap a photo before the egg was taken by whatever got to it. Due to where the nest was, it's not like we could avoid it anyway. To do so would mean shutting the entire planet down due to not being able to load the trailers.
Sometimes they choose the wrong spot.

---------- Post added 12-10-20 at 02:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
If you disturb them at the nest you're too close.
True, but perhaps hard to judge.

QuoteQuote:
Wildlife agents will close down access to nesting areas for some species. I know some areas on islands around here (Hampstead, NC) that are roped off much of the year for nesting. Back in Ohio bald eagle nest sites were roped off. A few years ago a building manager was going to let me and a few other photographers on the roof of a 14 floor building, but when we got there he apologized and said the wildlife agents had locked off the roof, apparently the peregrine falcons had started building their nests. Wildlife organizations and conservation groups and even the various state and federal governments have invested a lot of effort and money into helping many endangered species recover. Species like the bald eagles and peregrine falcons, two of the species nearly wiped out by pesticide use have made great recoveries after the ban of DDT, and protection and re-establishment of their nesting areas.
There's a pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting on a building in Melbourne where a webcam has been set up. It's completely understandable to protect threatened species.
10-11-2020, 08:08 PM - 2 Likes   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,508
QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
This holds for any kind of wildlife photography or viewing, not just birds in a nest. If your presence is disrupting the subjects' natural behaviors, you are way too close.
That reminds me of going to Magee Marsh, Ohio in early May. It's a huge venue to see migrating warblers and many other migratory birds, they stop there to rest before crossing Lake Erie. The birds get very used to people there because there are so many, but people are behaved, they are there to see the birds and therefore are relatively quiet. I've actually seen several birds building nests right off the boardwalk while people watch. Once there was a tree swallow and if I remember right a house wren fighting over a hole n a tree, an interesting watch for a few minutes. I just say this because animals that live closer to people are sometimes more tolerant.
10-11-2020, 10:48 PM - 1 Like   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Mooncatt's Avatar

Join Date: May 2020
Location: Wisconsin
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 996
QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Robins sometimes build nests in entirely stupid locations
Hence the term "bird brain." Lol
10-11-2020, 11:42 PM   #11
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
RobG's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Canberra
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,082
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Hence the term "bird brain." Lol
The justification for that expression to me was Magpie Larks attacking themselves in window reflections - to the point where they die.

On the other hand, other birds can be extraordinarily clever, so YMMV.
10-12-2020, 01:18 AM   #12
PJ1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
PJ1's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mosquito Creek, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,138
I think it comes down to whether the bird or birds are disturbed by the activity. You with your 450mm (effectively 675mm on the K-3) may as well be in the next county as far as most birds are concerned. I am pretty sure you do your photography on your own so no one is going to say "Oh ... a nest. I'll see how close I can get with my phone." A photo club outing is a different matter. People who do not have very long lenses might try to get closer, or a whole bunch of people together might be a bit unnerving for the birds. So I would say use discretion and don't draw attention to the nest if there are other people around. After all, it isn't taking the photograph that is the problem. It is people getting too close.
10-12-2020, 01:56 AM - 1 Like   #13
Pentaxian
Lord Lucan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: South Wales
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,913
I understand that it is illegal in the UK to take photos of birds nest of some species. I am not into bird watching myself, but perhaps someone else from the UK could confirm it. One reason, not to do with it disturbing the birds, is that egg collectors might recognise the location of a rare nest and subsequently steal the eggs.

Apart from that, I have noticed that if you point a camera at a bird, even a common sparrow that was tolerating your presence from a few yards away, they often take off in a hurry as if they think it is a gun. They are not as daft as they look.
10-12-2020, 02:16 AM - 1 Like   #14
PJ1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
PJ1's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mosquito Creek, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,138
QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
they think it is a gun
Then they would think the150-450 is a bazooka! But you are right. Crows certainly do that in Australia. But I think it only applies to birds that might be shot at.
10-12-2020, 07:12 AM   #15
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
rogerstg's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rhode Island
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,116
Avoiding photographing nests is not as much about "disturbing" wildlife as avoiding situations that would identify the nest to predators. Blue Jays, crows, grackles, etc surely notice the ruckus from panicked parent birds or the attention from photographers focused on a particular spot in the brush.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bird, birds, egg, falcons, lens, load, nest, nests, people, peregrine, photograph, photographers, photography, photos, pm, post, robin, shot, species, wildlife
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How many lenses do you take when out photographing? barondla Pentax Medium Format 84 03-31-2021 03:29 AM
Nature An Echidna looking for ant nests RobG Post Your Photos! 4 03-23-2020 05:03 PM
Photographing a band in a bar Cerebum Photographic Technique 32 01-14-2019 11:58 AM
Nature Wood pigeon nests in our yard spruce ManuP Post Your Photos! 2 05-11-2016 10:46 PM
Stork nests in an electricity pole.. plus one.. barbosas Post Your Photos! 3 08-24-2009 02:26 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:49 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top