Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) A.K.A Peaceful Dove (Geopelia striata)

Bird watching

Once upon a time, I used to think it was a great hobby one could ever have. The great outdoor, wildlife, nature, green, blah blah blah... the 'nice' lists goes on and on and on..

I still think it's a great hobby and maybe the greatest(personally). I love being outdoor and even more in love with nature if I have my camera with me outdoor.

Birds are the main subject I am keen to photograph. But that doesn't make me a photographer neither a birdwatcher... the best part is, I get to experience both. Obviously, I am loving it and enjoying it very much. Fortunately for me, not to the extent I'd think it's better than sex!


We have an issue here in Malaysia about bird watching/photography that I'm sure also happens in other parts of the world. Using playbacks...

Believe or not, it's a very sensitive issue and surprised? I am not and I don't think you are too ...

Birdwatcher says don't but photographers says do it

I don't take sides. Personally, I think both are right and the world desperately needs both of them. However, like any other matter in our lives, there should be a limit in everything we do.

Both birdwatchers and bird photographers can't be selfish and not sharing their finds with the world. They need to promote nature conservation whether they are pros or not. Otherwise, their knowledge is a waste...at least that's what I think.

Let's Face It

To me, a birdwatcher with binoculars, sketches and notes could not educate and reach out further in the community. Nature conservation should be introduced to the younger generation as early as possible. Birdwatchers with their wisdom have the responsibility to do this.

It's a digital world now and I'm afraid analog technology is quite left behind ...and even becoming obsolete. Let's face it..the new generation are more techno savvy.

Seeing Is Believing

This is where the photographers have the edge and could attract the attention of the smarter younger generation. Nonetheless, birdwatcher journals are needed. More often than not, they are taken in a more natural manner where no alternative measure such as playbacks were used to document it.

The details of the bird or the environment they were in that could be recorded in the notes of the birdwatcher can now be clearly visualized with the aid of the photograph taken by the photographers. They are instances when they have to use playbacks to attract birds to get a better photo.

To me, this is specially important for rarer and elusive birds...Seeing is believing, the kids need that to digest whatever information we want to feed them with.

Seriously, Why Not?

Playbacks... why not? Some birds are busybody.. try whistling in a jungle, I can assure you there will be a reply or more... They even get closer to check you out. Birds are of many personalities like us human. Some are friendlier, some are shy, grumpy...Wanna know who and what? fantails-friendly, forktails-shy, notails-grumpy! Just kidding..Wood swallows can be very grumpy and attacks human!

Having said so, some bird does respond to playbacks and some doesn't. So, read a little more and know your birds to know your limit. You wouldn't want to rock the jungle hoping for something that would not show up! Have respect for nature, in peace is where the best result is achieved.

Perhaps, the world could be a better place if the birdwatchers and the bird photographers could form a partnership and start educating the world together...

Let there be light and peace!..


Franja said...

Una preciosidad! la importancia del fondo en esta fotografía queda patente.

digdeep said...

Hi Jordan

An interesting post, and kudos to you for bringing it up!

I am in full agreement with you that we can't afford to divide the birding world between 'birders' and 'bird photographers'. For one thing, there are too few of us, so we should unite! For another, I truly believe that both have something valuable to contribute, and that we actually need each other, and the birds need us all!

As you mention, the key is to share what we learn, whether that is in the form of photos, sound recordings, videos or field notes.

In this regard, I wish to make a plea, specifically to all of you bird bloggers out there! It would really help to make your sharing much more valuable to others if you could add the DATE and LOCATION for all your photos. If you do that, it means that the photo can go down as a record of what was seen. For example, if you post a picture of - let's say - a Ruff, with the caption "I saw this the other day". That can only go down as "a Ruff somewhere in Sabah, sometime in the last few months."! Just the addition of a few words - eg "Penampang, 16th April" can make a huge difference! Over time, as we keep a record of what occurs and when, we can begin to understand patterns of occurrence, when's the best time to go look for a certain species, where are the best places to search, etc, etc.

So - bloggers - please keep sharing your fabulous photos, and keep up the great work of sharing your knowledge, and just remember to add...date and location!



digdeep said...

Here's a quote from a report on the 2011 IUCN/BirdLife Red List:

“In the space of a year another 13 bird species have moved into the threatened categories”, said Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director, IUCN Global Species Programme. “This is a disturbing trend; however the figure would be much worse if conservation initiatives were not in place. The information collected by the BirdLife Partnership is crucial in helping us to continue improving conservation efforts. This is now more important than ever as the biodiversity crisis is already affecting our wellbeing and will continue to do so unless we do more to stop it.”

Note this sentence: "The information collected by the BirdLife Partnership is crucial in helping us to continue improving conservation efforts."

One simple and direct way we can all help do something to protect the birds we enjoy is by submitting records of our sightings to: http://www.worldbirds.org/v3/malaysia.php



digdeep said...

PS Here's the link to the BirdLife article: http://www.birdlife.org/community/2011/06/big-birds-lose-out-in-a-crowded-world/