People who photograph birds should know the name of the bird in the photo. At least, they should be able to use a bird identification book to get the name. At least, they should own a bird identification book. 


I am a photographer of birds. I was a birder first, for years before digital cameras created a new photographic world. Birder first means you are likely to bring knowledge of and respect for the animal (and other observers) into the field with you. Birders learn that from exposure to the at-large birding community. 


Many photographers lack that background. Still, most are respectful of the birds and other people in the field, with or without camera. There are photographers, however, who have forgotten the lessons of courtesy we all learned in kindergarten. I have encountered photographers who are simply rude to both birds and people.


There is a code of ethics for birders. It puts the best interests of the bird first. All who engage with birds need to act ethically. Photographers should use the guidelines written for birders. While ethical behavior is a given for most photographers, it would cramp the style of others. Those bozos, unfortunately, are not animals threatened with survival, as many bird species are.


All of us should know ethical-behavior guidelines. A review is a good idea no matter how long you have enjoyed birding. See theAmerican Birding Association code of ethics at


Bird-photography clubs and social media sites devoted to bird photographs would do everyone a favor by posting the ABA code.

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