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Comment on Bird Photography

By Forest Ang

......Let your conscious be your guide....

An innocent photo enthusiast was criticized for taking pictures of new born chicks of Yellow vented bulbul. Read the comments here

This is my view.

Hi Alex,
I wouldn't say you are right or you are wrong. Let your conscious be your guide.

There is this group of conservationists who are hypocrite - they ask people not to do this and do that but they can do it. I have been to many wildlife sanctuaries like turtle hatcheries, birds, animals, etc - there the person in charge spelled out the rule that we can't take pictures with flash....but ironically they can! Of course they will say in the name of conservation and research.

I was once like you...being innocent...just want to take pictures (yes your pictures were good too!)...and didn't know about the consequences caused. I would say there is some truth that we are actually giving a lot of stress to the birds. Anyway don't worry about that Yellow-vented bulbul, they are very very common and their survival rate is extremely good....so since there is NO NATURAL predator, you as a photographer became one of the predator loh....so you actually control their population. However, we should remember that if it has been a rare bird, we became the exterminator! To me, "killing" a very common bird and "killing" a rare bird - are entirely different. But choosing not to kill will be a better option and a good karma.

I have seen how scientists clip (I meant CUT) off toes of squirrels in the name of research. Not one toe but all 5 toes!!!!..."how to climb man?", I asked the professor...and he replied, "...in the name of research!!!"

So when I think about this kind of controversial issues...I always like to think back about logging, damming, farming, highway and housing - they destroy everything on their paths...they will PUPUSKAN (extinct) the whole species. How come no one complaint huh?

Some consequences in bird photography:
1. Do you know that bird can also get heart attack? Yes, they just drop dead if they are frightened to the extreme!
2. Other predators � parasitic birds (like drongo, koel), squirrels, monkeys, monitor lizards, dogs, cats, etc might be watching us when we photograph birds. They will raid the nest after we left the site.
3. Rare birds dislike human odor. They will abandon the nest even there are eggs or babies in it.
4. Of course the stress created. Do you know that a normal 2-week from hatching to adulthood in some birds actually get shorten to a week when there are human present? These will create other side effect to the premature birds.

As for me, I always like to think about the consequences each time I photograph nature. Enjoy your photographing and just remember there are consequences to whatever we do.

Thank you for reading.
Forest Ang
16 Feb, 2007

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