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Photography, Travel, Wildlife, Nature etc.

Nesting Bird’s Photograph: Is It Really Unethical

great barbte 1 small

Most of you would probably not appreciate this photograph considering it as a nesting bird. There are forums where such photos are banned to discourage people from clicking nesting birds assuming the fact that people might disturb birds in nests to get a good photograph.

While the whole idea is valid and I respect that and I do not want to create any buzz around it, I would like to mention here that I have found this tree on the busy highway that connects Bhimtal and Nanital. A pair of Great Barbet has chosen this Neem tree by the road for this nesting season.

I have also found a pair of swallows raising their two chicks inside a small but relatively busy stationary shop near Bhimtal. Looking at my expression seeing their nest which was probably one and a half foot above the shopkeeper’s chair and was built with the help of two loosely coupled electric wires hanging from the roof, the owner told me that the pair has been raising their chicks for the third consecutive seasons. Although he has no way to prove that they are the same swallow pair, but it is not unlikely.

The point is clicking nesting bird’s photograph is not a crime till we do not disturb them. On the same context, chasing a bird to get a good photograph even in an open area is not advisable.

As far as ethics in wildlife photography is concerned, it all lies within us. One of my friend recently commented on one such hot debate where someone has posted a photograph of a charging elephant to promote a wildlife tour –

“The only situation, where a photograph of a charging elephant would be called ethical is when the elephant is in musth, and you are a female elephant holding a camera.”

We have our views, but only the photographer knows whether the way he got the photograph can be termed as ethical or not. His own conscience will decide what is right and what is wrong. So lets be fair and have a moral approach.

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