Is Everything Just Ducky? Moral and Ethical Bird Photography Questions … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Is Everything Just Ducky? Moral and Ethical Bird Photography Questions ...

Stuff

On Wednesday morning we drove to Veteran’s Oasis Park but did not know exactly where to go so we gave up and headed to Gilbert. It was deader than dead there so we scooted out 30+ miles to Boyce Arboretum State Park for alleged hummingbird photography. We did see some Anna’s and a male calliope in the parking lot and lots of hummers on the property but there were zero photo opps. That’s why they call it nature photography …

There was not much going on on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon but a great meal at BJ’s Brewhouse in Mesa eased the pain 🙂

The Streak

Today makes two hundred twenty days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 40 minutes to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

The Used Gear Page

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings on the Used Photo Gear page here.

Very Recent Sales …

Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens “The Old Five” with lots of extras

David Solis is offering a Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00. The sale includes the original box, the lens trunk (Canon Lens Case 500 with two keys0, the instruction sheet, the front leather lens cover (EF-183), the rear lens cap; the original lens foot, the 4th Generation Designs CP-51 replacement low foot (an $84.95 value), an OpTech USA Pro Loop strap in camo –a $22.75 value), a LensCoat –Realtree Advantage HD –, a $99.99 value, a LensCoat hoodie — XXX large, Realtree Max 4 HD — a $22.99 value, a LensCoat TravelCoat — Realtree Max — a 64.99 value, a Don Zeck C8 hard plastic front lens cap — a $74.95 value, and insured ground shipping via UPS to U.S. addresses only. Canon Professional Services cleaned and checked this lens on Feb. 23, 2018. Photos are available on request. Your item will not ship until your check clears the bank.

Please contact David via e-mail or phone at 1-(505) 699-4968 (Mountain time Zone). No text messages please.

The 500mm f/4 lenses have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. If you don’t have the cash for the 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds, then this is your best super-telephoto option. Most everyone can produce sharp images with this lens and a 1.4X TC. Folks with good to excellent sharpness techniques can do the same with a 2X TC. With the new 500 II selling for $8,999 you can save $5600 by grabbing David’s lens with lots of extras. artie

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens (with lots of extras)

David Solis is also offering a Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00. The sale includes the lens trunk (Canon Case 300) with two keys, the lens instruction sheet, the leather lens cap (E-145), the rear lens cap, the lens strap, the original lens foot, a Wimberley B61-D Arca-Swiss style quick release replacement foot (a $52 value), a Don Zeck C3 hard plastic front lens cap (a 74.95 value), a Lightware 300 lens case with carrying strap a $149.95 value, a LensCoat (Realtree Max) — a $99.99 value, a LensCoat hoodie (Realtree Max) –a $20.95 value, at LensCoat Travel Coat (Realtree Max) a $54.99 value, and insured ground shipping via UPS to U.S. addresses only. Canon Professional Services cleaned and checked the lens on Feb. 23, 2018.
Photos of the lens are available on request. Your purchase will not ship until your check clears the bank.

Please contact David via e-mail or phone at 1-(505) 699-4968 (Mountain time Zone). No text messages please.

Sanho Memory Card Backup

David Solis is also offering a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00. It sells new for $648.99. This item has the following features: 1 TB internal storage capacity; 320 x 480 TFT 3.5 inch color LCD display; it is compact flash/SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards compatible; has WI-FI functionality and multiple photo file format compatibility; USB 3.0 interface; USB external device support; integrated rechargeable battery; soft protective pouch; user’s manual and cables; accepts JPG and RAW photos. It allows you to backup, organize, view, sync, recover, & wirelessly share photos/video..

Please contact David via e-mail or phone at 1-(505) 699-4968 (Mountain time Zone). No text messages please.

Booking.Com

Several folks on the Spoonbill IPTs used the Booking.Com link below and got great rates and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

SIGN-_DSC2062--Gilbert-Water-Ranch-Riparian-Preserve,-AZ

Photo A: sign at the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch, Phoenix, AZ

duck-and-goose-blend-_DSC1805--Gilbert-Water-Ranch-Riparian-Preserve,-AZ

Photo B: Duck and Goose Feed

Moral and Ethical Bird Photography Questions …

  • 1-If you saw the sign in Photo A would you feel comfortable going to a pet store and buying a bag such as the one featured in Photo B and then feeding the ducks (where clearly permitted) in order to create some flight images?

    Yes or no, please explain why.

  • 2-If you saw a small child with his or her mom feeding bread to the ducks, would you caution them that feeding bread is not permitted?
  • 3-What are your thoughts on photographers who employ this duck feeding strategy to get some great images?
  • 4-Should images created using this duck feeding strategy be allowed in major international photographic competitions?
  • 5-If you feel that altering the behavior of by baiting them with healthy stuff is wrong and you came upon another photographer feeding them would you partake of the opportunity?
  • 6- How about simply photographing swimming ducks in a pond where they regularly visit to be fed; right or wrong?

Fort-DeSoto-Card

Spring at DeSoto is often magical

DeSoto IPT #1 Sunrise: 7:07 am. Sunset: 6:22pm.

3 1/2 DAYS: SUN 15 APR thru the morning session on WED 18 APR: $1599. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 4.

You must purchase a season Parking Pass in advance for early entry. Click here and scroll down for info. If you are not a local, the six month pass if fine. Best to order by mail. Join me to photograph a wide variety of birds of the shore including pelicans, gulls, terns, sandpipers, oystercatchers, heron, egrets, and night-herons. Many in full breeding plumage. Most are ridiculously tame. Osprey likely. Learn to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret DeSoto locations, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations. Enjoy some great sunrises and sunsets.

Which will offer better opportunities, Desoto #1 or DeSoto #2? I have no idea. Both have the potential to be great.

Fort-DeSoto-Card-B

DeSoto is one of the very few bird photography hotspots that can be great any given day of the year/strong>

DeSoto IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:41am. Sunset: 8:12pm.

SUN 13 MAY thru the morning session on WED 16 MAY: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1599.

You must purchase a season Parking Pass in advance for early entry. Click here and scroll down for info. If you are not a local, the six month pass if fine. Best to order by mail. Join me to photograph a wide variety of birds of the shore including pelicans, gulls, terns, sandpipers, oystercatchers, heron, egrets, and night-herons. Many in full breeding plumage. Most are ridiculously tame. Osprey likely. Learn to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret DeSoto locations, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations. Enjoy some great sunrises and sunsets.

Which will offer better opportunities, Desoto #1 or DeSoto #2? I have no idea. Both have the potential to be great.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.





Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

25 comments to Is Everything Just Ducky? Moral and Ethical Bird Photography Questions …

  • avatar Rick

    Artie
    From South Africa: we absolutely would not under almost any circumstances permit the feeding of any bird or other wild animals in our parks etc. The thoughts represented in Photo A simply wouldn’t exist. The only exception to this would be special programs under strictly controlled criteria like the ground hornbill project at Mabula.

  • avatar Glen

    Seem’s natural that starting a conversation on feeding birds is akin to opening a can of worms. Many birds love worms, canned or fresh, and it appears that bird photographers take the bait too! Enjoy!

  • avatar doug

    1) Yes and no. I have no problem with feeding and photographing. Since I have no issue with feeding or photographing by themselves I don’t see why I would have an issue combining the two. At least with feeding, the subjects get paid. I am wary of commercial seed mixes since many use fillers. I’d be more likely to stop by a farm store and buy a bag of feed grain.
    2) Yes, unless I could tell it was whole grain bread. If it’s white bread I’d explain the harm that can be done by a poor diet and then give them a bunch of the grain i had.
    3) No worries. Some great photographers photograph song birds and raptors around feeding stations and staged perches.
    4) Up to those running the competition. I have no issues with them being allowed or not as long as everyone knows up front and is treated the same.
    5) I’d probably pass as a professional courtesy, not on an ethical basis. If I was interested in joining I’d ask if they’d mind and then as I left I’d say thanks for sharing and offer a few bucks to help pay for the feed.
    6) No issues.

  • Hey Arthur,

    1. Yes, would have more opportunities than just waiting for birds to fly by.
    2. No, they can do what they want.
    3. I have nothing against this. I’m sure some great images have been made both baited and non baited.
    4. Yes, I don’t see any reason to exclude them.
    5. Yes, if they didn’t mind.
    6. Right, I’m sure birds visit a lot of places where they know they can get a free meal.

  • avatar Bill Coatney

    Something for the no bait crowd to consider.

    The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)has many refuges that grow corn and other crops specifically for wildfowl to use in the fall and spring migrations and flood those crops so the birds can access the food- ie they are baiting.

    Many state conservation areas also raise crops and flood them for wildfowl to use in the fall and spring migration.

    These areas provide food for the return trip to the breeding grounds so that the nesting birds will be in top condition.

    If this was a harmful feature, I doubt they (USFWS) would do it.

    So if you were to photograph a flight of Ring-Necked ducks,Trumpeter Swans, Snow Geese or Green Wing Teal at one of these areas, would you not be photographing ‘baited’ birds???

    If that is the case, I had better call several photo editors as well as the USFWS that have used my duck images in their publications and ask them if they consider it a breach of ethics.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Bill,

      I am pretty sure that feeding wildlife (including the growing of crops for birds) is expressly prohibited at National Wildlife Refuges … Can you say Bosque del Apache?

      I am not judging or for or against, just stating my understanding of the facts.

      with love, artie

      • avatar David Policansky

        Hi, Artie. Bosque del Apache does grow crops for birds, and coordinates with other refuges, both state and federal. For several years they contracted with local farmers, who got to grow some crops for themselves and then corn for Bosque, but they had bad results so this past year they did it themselves and had greater success. They mow the corn sequentially and late in the season, the birds tend to be far from the road as a result. Feeding wildlife by visitors is indeed prohibited at Bosque.

      • avatar Bill Coatney

        Mr Arthur

        No worries.

        Having chased ducks from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico for over 40 plus years I realize that many people are not aware of some of the practices used to attract wildfowl.

        The cultivation of corn,millet and other grains is quite common on National Wildlife refuges. This source of food in conjunction with moist soil vegetation assures migrating waterfowl have multiple food sources for their long trips to and from the wintering areas and the breeding areas.

        I am constantly amazed at the lengths a puddle duck will go to obtain corn when there is cold weather since the regulations only allow unharvested corn to be flooded and that top ear is fairly high off the knee deep water.

        cheers

    • avatar Andrew G

      I don’t see any “no bait” crowd here.
      Growing crop and then not harvesting it is kind of natural.

  • avatar Terry Longenecker

    To all those people who say it is wrong to bait the birds to photograph them, I say bull. It is no more wrong to bait the birds than it is to take a photo, of whatever, birds, people, mountains and then go to PS or LR and change the photo to their liking. So if you post process your photos, and believe it to be OK then, wake up and smell the roses and get off the backs of the people who bait the birds. I am sure that NO ONE would turn their eyes away from a photo of a birds that has been baited, than they would if a photo was post processed in PS or LR. That is my 2 cents, for what it is worth. Thank you

  • avatar David Policansky

    1. Yes. 2. Maybe. 3. I’m not sure whether I’d do it but I won’t criticize others, especially if they acknowledge it. 4. Not in wildlife competitions; I think there should be photography competitions that do not allow baiting. How you enforce this beats me, though. 5. If I saw a photographer doing something that I thought jeopardized wildlife or was illegal, I’d probably say something; otherwise, probably not. 6. I’d probably do that, and if a duck flew in, I’d photograph it. For example, I got close to a snowy owl once, with the wind and sun behind me. I deliberately didn’t spook it but sat and watched. Someone else came and spooked it and I got some great flight shots.

  • avatar Larry

    1. No problem. The Audubon Society and the Cornell Ornithology Lab both support feeding backyard birds and I don’t see any difference here. As long as there are no signs saying “No feeding”, and as long as the stuff is healthy for the birds, why not. We destroy their habitat, why not try to support them by supplementary feeding.
    2. Yes, if I was sure that the bread was bad for the birds or if there were signs saying “no feeding”. (I have done that before)
    3. Again, if using healthy food, no problem. If the shots are to be published, maybe tagging them as “wild birds attracted by food” or something like that. They are still wild, regardless of whether they have been conditioned to accept food. Again, same situation as with backyard bird feeders or gulls and pelicans that follow fishing boats to get scraps of fish.
    4. I don’t know the rules but I would say it’s OK if the rules allowed, but they should be identified as such.
    5. If there are no signs against feeding and he/she is using healthy food, I think its OK but I would ask the other photographer if I can join, as long as I don’t interfere with his shots
    6. No problem.

  • avatar Joel Eade

    I certainly think wildlife shouldn’t be harmed in the process of getting images.

    If only images of birds that were not accustomed to human presence were allowed we would be taking and seeing very few close up, detailed bird images.

    My feeling would be that using healthy feed or going to a place where birds are accustomed to humans in order to get a closer image is not an ethical breach.

    I think it would be best to disclose that information if you display the image for public viewing, even on the internet. I suspect most images on display are taken in such areas.

  • avatar Grabam

    I called out a photographer on line for baiting the owls she had photographed. She got very pissy and didn’t like it!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      That opens a whole ‘nother can of worms. Live bait or dead bait? More cans of worms to open.

      with love artie

  • avatar George Cottay

    1: Yes. The food seems to meet requirements.

    2: Yes, but only after introducing myself, exchanging a few friendly worlds, sharing some approved food and not pitching even a small fit if more bread gets thrown.

    3: I think they are using food to get some great images. It seems similar to a portrait shooter paying models.

    4: I’d leave that up to the organizers. A prohibition, however, does put honest shooters at a disadvantage.

    5: Does not apply

    6: Well, I’d want to avoid being brought down by a thundering herd of hungry ducks but, other than that, have no ethical issues.

    For me, it comes down to intent. If the goal is recording duck behavior feeding is unwise. If the goal is good duck pictures, paying the models seems to me only appropriate.

    • avatar Jean-Guy

      Georges, your answer for # 2 is exactly what I was thinking. A friendly approach is the way to go. They mikht not know bread isn,t good for ducks.

  • avatar Andrew G

    1. Absolutely NOT. If I wouldn’t feed them I wouldn’t get the photos (especially ducks) so those are fakes in my book. Learn behavior and habitat and be patient.
    2. Probably.
    3. Lame. If it’s not natural, it’s staged basically.
    4. Absolutely not. That’s why I have problems with Bence Máté. I love his photos but what I could gather some of them are baited. 🙁
    5. No.
    6. There’s nothing I can do about it so I guess it’s OK. But only if they’re swimming around (no feeders around).

  • avatar Ed Wright

    #1 – When I feed ducks and geese with my grandchildren, I use only whole corn purchased at the local feed store and do so only where such feeding is permitted.
    #2 – Yes. I have offered my corn to such people.
    #3 – If the photographer was going to hang the picture on his wall or put on his/her website, no problem. If the image is going to be used commercially or in a contest, NO.
    #4 – No.
    #5 – This is kind of like watching a kayaker paddling towards a flock of ducks or geese on the water and preparing to take flight shots when they fly. Has anyone done that?
    #6 – We have all photographed animals (squirrels, birds, water fowl, etc.) in a public setting where it is potentially possible that animals have been fed. So, I my answer would be that’s it okay if the animals are not stressed by your presence.

  • avatar Jay

    1. Yes. I do not see this as being qualitatively different than photographing at a bird feeder.

    2. Probably not. You never know how people react, especially when there are kids involved. I’ve seen situations where parents reacted badly to someone informing them that their kids were in a dangerous situation. Feeding bread to ducks is minor in comparison and can only lead to trouble for the person “interfering” with their child.

    3. No problem. See number 1 above.

    4. Those pictures should be identified as having used bait to lure the bird.

    5. N/A. See number 1 above.

    6. No problem. If it is problematic, should we stop photographing birds at backyard feeders. For those traveling to Central and South America, should you stop photographing at the hummingbird feeders set up at lodges and backyards (a stop in Mindo to do this is a popular activity for those on their way to the Galapagos Islands). Why, when it’s waterfowl, does it become ethically different.

  • I agree with Frank and Doug and Frank on #2 – small attempt to educate the family and share the bird seed. Once. Then walk away unless the family is really receptive and wants more info.

  • avatar frank sheets

    # 1: Yes, assuming some credible avian pathologist has proven that bread is bad for birds.
    # 2: I would give them some of my bird seed and say “a credable avian pathologist told me that bread is bad for birds and they actually like this better, so here have some of my bird seed and let’s help keep the birds healthy.”
    # 3: No prob there!
    # 4: I agree with Doug again, just not fair to others who do not use this technique. If the guidelines of the contest said “bait all you want” then that would be a different story. But would the guidelines have restrictions on what you could bait with. Like “Whosipoop pathologist says you can bait only with this bait. Would everyone follow the rules?
    # 5: I wouldn’t avoid the place.

  • #1. Yes…if its not breaking the rules, i have no problem doing it.

    #2. No…cause chances are they’ll just ignore me anyway or worse, in this country, the mom could pull a gun and shoot me. Years ago, I would’ve, but now.

    #3. No problem for me…again, if its within the rules, knock yourself out.

    #4. Only if there was some sort of separate category. Otherwise it would be unfair to the other photographer who layed in muck and mud for days (or longer) to get their image.

    #5. Nope. If its wrong, its wrong. Just because some other idiot is breaking the rules doesn’t make it okay for me.

    #6. If there’s no signage? I do it all the time.

  • 1- yes i would do so – but the images have to be tagged as something like#feeded or “influenced by feeding” – clearly that is not real wildlife any more.

    2-yes i would so –> to ask them if they know that bread is not allowed

    3-Ok, (if not too much) but the most important thing is, that it is explained in the image description. NO HIDING of information or that fact!!!

    4- NO – only if you would make a special category

    5- i don’t think so

    6- that is ok i think