[Tweeters] Ridgefield birders vs "wildlife photographers". Really?

Don Nelson ac7zg at frontier.com
Tue Jan 28 13:32:54 PST 2014

When I look at the images posted, that I personally can't differentiate between  wildlife photographers, photographers or birders with cameras.
(Feel free to point me to other photos I haven't seen)
I see one with a tablet(ipad?).  Hardly a wildlife photographer. Seriously too short a lens for anything but an image of a tree.
I see one in a red car with what looks like a 24-135 zoom, not even 200mm.  Hardly a wildlife photographer.  Maybe wanna-be wildlife photographer?
I see one with what appears to be the Canon 100-400. Yet I know a number of birders with this lens – does this lens imply they are really wildlife photographers and not birders?  So do my birder friends having this lens get lumped into the same category as my wildlife photographer friends just because they take a record shot with such a lens?
I can't tell if any of these people are really "wildlife photographers" other than they want to get a snap of what they see...
Lets stop trying to make this into what appears to be class warfare – all of the people in that photograph likely also love birds just as much as you do.  Each of these groups has a percentage of people that act like self-centered turds – and this isn’t restricted to “(wildlife, wannabe or just plain old) photographers”  or birders.
So lets all take a deep breath and stop binning people as wildlife photographers vs. birders. That tired mantra serves NO PURPOSE except to fragment the group of people that all like birds/wildlife/etc.
Lets start by talking about the group these people really belong to – violators of the Refuge policy – regardless of whether they are birders, photographers, wanna-be wildlife photographers or wildlife photographers. 
There is a much better set of ethical field practices for wildlife photographers that could be useful for the birders and other photographers, posted by  the North American Nature Photography Association:
 (taken directly from the site; underlines are mine- applying to this discussion)
NANPA believes that following these practices promotes the well being of the location, subject and photographer. Every place, plant, and animal, whether above or below water, is unique, and cumulative impacts occur over time. Therefore, one must always exercise good individual judgment. It is NANPA's belief that these principles will encourage all who participate in the enjoyment of nature to do so in a way that best promotes good stewardship of the resource.
Learn patterns of animal behavior
So as not to interfere with animal life cycles.
Do not distress wildlife or their habitat.
Respect the routine needs of animals.
Use appropriate lenses to photograph wild animals.
If an animal shows stress, move back and use a longer lens.
Acquaint yourself with the fragility of the ecosystem.
Stay on trails that are intended to lessen impact.
When appropriate, inform managers or other authorities of your presence and purpose.
Help minimize cumulative impacts and maintain safety.
Learn the rules and laws of the location.
If minimum distances exist for approaching wildlife, follow them.
In the absence of management authority, use good judgment.
Treat the wildlife, plants and places as if you were their guest.
Prepare yourself and your equipment for unexpected events.
Avoid exposing yourself and others to preventable mishaps.
Treat others courteously.
Ask before joining others already shooting in an area.
Tactfully inform others if you observe them in engaging in inappropriate or harmful behavior.
Many people unknowingly endanger themselves and animals.
Report inappropriate behavior to proper authorities.
Don't argue with those who don't care; report them.
Be a good role model, both as a photographer and a citizen.
Educate others by your actions; enhance their understanding.

Don Nelson

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