I, too, was fortunate yesterday
to see these two Black-necked Stilts.
However, I’m wondering if all the birders visiting are stressing these
birds. Almost the entire time I was
there one of the birds (a female, I think) stood on the edge of the pond, near
the nest, and softly called “kip-kip-kip”.
It was calling so softly that at first I did not notice. Since she never stopped calling, I took that
to mean that she was concerned about my presence. The other stilt stood preening about ten
yards away, but did not call at all. Once
I realized what was happening, I took one final look and left.
We all hope that these birds
will nest successfully. However, we
birders may stress the birds to the degree that this nesting will be
unsuccessful. It’s probably not
realistic to expect that birder will not try to see these two stilts, but let’s be mindful
that too much attention may lead to nest abandonment or inattentive parenting. The ABA Code of Ethics states: “To avoid stressing birds or exposing them
to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography,
sound recording, or filming.” Douglas Mayo
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