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Pretend and Cheat for a good cause

by Forest Ang can't pretend then stay away from nest sites...

Don't ever touch the puppies when the bitch is around...that was how I learnt the hard way when I was barked and snared upon.

Since then, if I ever come near any nesting wildlife, I would be extra careful, lest I got bitten.

Being a nature lover has its risk. If you see a baby crow fallen on the ground, don't try to go near it or you might get a few pecks from the parents and relatives of the baby! Infact, you will be swarmed by noisy crows!

If you are a photography enthusiast and your passion is snapping birds then you have to put yourself at "risk". But that would be only some minor pecks....the real damage is the life and dead of the nesting chicks.

Protecting the baby bird
We as nature photographers should always limit ourselves when approaching nests. Our present near a nest actually causes alot of stress to the parent birds. The time taken from hatching to flight will be shortened when there are human presence. Our presence and the stress are not really dangerous but what I am trying to emphasize is the third party that has been observing our presence.

Who are the third party?
Crows, drongos, raptors, monkeys, dogs, lizards and even humans belong to the third party. We are being observed from a distance. And when we leave, these third party will rape the nest!

Some experiences to share
I was shooting nightjar at an open space. I didn't notice anybody. Somehow, somebody was watching me behind the trees. The next day, I found many human foot prints near the nest. The chicks were gone.

Drongos were seen perching on the tree branch while I was shooting a flycatcher's nest. The nest day the eggs were gone.

At a barren open ground, we were snapping away the pratincole's chicks. A dog was seen loitering around the other end. And then when we were back the next day the chicks were gone. A dog's print was seen near the soft ground.

Our passion and our love for wildlife should have a limit. We should protect the welfare of wildlifes more than our hobbies.

We should pretend to be doing something else if you sense the presence of third party.

I had been cheated by baska. Even the birds tried to cheat me. Sensing our presence, this particular pratincole actually pretend to have broken wings. She was seen flapping and flapping on the ground as if to tell me that she was helpless and can easily be caught. She was trying to attract our attention away from the nest.

So, my friends, if you love nature, start pretending for their survival.

How to pretend : When you sense a third party
1. Start taking shots away from the nest.
2. Pretend to search for something.
3. Then pretend to found something at a particular spot and start shooting for a longer period of time.
4. Then move on to another site and start shooting again.

If you can't pretend then stay away from nest sites. Go for an acting course!

Lets go acting!

2 Jun 06


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All photographs by Forest Ang unless mentioned.
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