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Archive 2011 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for phot...
  
 
ajt36
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p.3 #1 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


I say this politely and not in any way to start a flame war in this thread, but it sort of smacks of being condescending that because people don't stay out for hours getting a once in a lifetime shot that their photography is less valuable. To some people, I'm sure that is true, and it is certainly a valid opinion I don't know one way or another if the eagles in my 2011 calendar were taken by some guy spending 20 hours in a blind or from some guy tossing a dead shad into the water and waiting 10 minutes. The publisher didn't care and probably didn't ask, and the publisher certainly didn't offer less to the shot of a baited eagle than to the guy who spent a day out there waiting patiently. The end purchaser isn't going to ask those questions either. For the most part, all of this only matters to a small subset of people in the photographic community, and I guess to certain environmentalists.

Both the Amish and a photographer are essentially feeding an animal that many say should not be fed in any way by humans. Some people may feel what the Amish do is more worthy of an exception to that rule, but in the end, it is not all that much different for me. It seems like people who believe photographers should not bait simply find what the Amish do more acceptable because the Amish aren't doing it to create a "once in a lifetime shot" that maybe they slogged out into the field and waited 12 hours to get. The farmer wants rodents out of his barn. The photographer wants a photo. The owl wants a meal. All three are benefiting in some way by this relationship.

It is interesting to me that in most cases "baiting" doesn't bother people with songbirds, hummingbirds, ducks, geese, and the like. Are they less worthy creatures that we only discuss baiting in the context of raptors? Should parents not buy a loaf of preservative laden bread and take their kids out to the pond to feed the ducks and geese? There is a certain percentage of photographers that think if you do anything to "coax" an animal into a better shooting position that it is somehow an unpure photo. I don't buy that either, and regardless, people are going to "bait" (or "feed" or whatever you want to call it) in order to get a shot no matter what we conclude on this thread. We can only hope that they will do it safely and smartly for the animal, and that can be further ensured through education.



Feb 16, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Imagemaster
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p.3 #2 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Ditto to what Anthony just said above.

As for a baited image being deceptive, give me a break. Nearly all commercials and movies you see are deceptive. Remember how "Wild Kingdom" deceived viewers for years, yet most of those viewers thoroughly enjoyed seeing those TV shows for years, and how they were filmed was of no importance to most of them.

Do people really think that National Geographic, Life, and other magazines have not printed wildlife and nature images in which there was no baiting or deception?

Just because an image was taken in the wild instead of at a game farm or zoo, does not make it any better IMO. Many of the best snake images posted on this site (Way to go Tom Hicks.) were taken in zoos through glass cases.




Feb 16, 2011 at 09:54 PM
mike717
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p.3 #3 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Should parents not buy a loaf of preservative laden bread and take their kids out to the pond to feed the ducks and geese?
Actually in this particular example, no they should not and there are a number of very good reasons for it. Ducks and bread.
Now I'm not saying that feeding animals is right or wrong but that if it's done it has to be done intelligently and with the interest of the animal in mind. If there is a real possibility that it will actually place the animal in danger then it should not be done. Captive animals that perform for treats are one thing, wild animals are quite another and can't be treated the same.

Mike



Feb 16, 2011 at 10:08 PM
mlorenz26
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p.3 #4 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


I received an email from an Ornithologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey regarding recent behavior of the Snowy Owl in relation to baiting/feeding. Below is directly copied and pasted from the email. Enjoy.

Matt


"I had to pass on a couple of interesting experiences had by the CPO (Conservation Police Officer) that covers the Ogle/Carroll County area where the Snowy Owl currently is. I spent time contacting and talking to various governmental conservation biologists and police officers today. I had a couple of long conversations with the CPO today and he talked and researched with others concerning the legality of the things that the birders/photographers have been doing out in Ogle County. Beyond that, both he and the heritage biologist in that part of the state do not believe that such actions are the correct type of behavior to be putting this owl through. However, something very interesting happened when the officer drove out to the area this afternoon to see what he could see. As you might expect, this officer respects and enjoys wildlife, and enjoyed being a birdwatcher before he became a CPO. As he got out to the area, he soon found the owl, and it was perched atop a utility pole along Ogle Rd (the county line road; the direction it usually flushes to when being "pursued" with offerings of mice by the owl photographers). The crowds weren't there when the officer got there, likely because it had flushed so far away from them earlier in the day, so they gave up on it for the day…the usual scenario out there. However, there was one vehicle parked along the road a little farther down the road (right next to the owl on the pole) from where the CPO pulled over, and as he watched, the person first got out and looked up at the Snowy Owl. After getting a good look and a couple of pictures, the person reached back into the back seat of their car…and the CPO knew what was coming next… came back out with a mouse to feed the owl. She put it down and the owl quickly flew down and scooped it up and took it out to the field to eat. The officer pulled up next to the smiling birder from the Quad Cities (not a photographer, per se), who quickly lost the smile, and said, "I'm in trouble aren't I?" Beings that the officer could legally not arrest this person, he instead said, "what do you mean Debbie" (not her real name), "what makes you say that?" They proceeded to have a good conversation about what was going on out there, and "Debbie" admitted that she felt ashamed of what she had done (possibly what anyone confronted with a police office while they are doing just about anything that they know is wrong).

The officer then ran into another avid Illinois birder who will likely post tonight about their conversation, but an interesting thing happened while the officer sat alone in his car afterwards. He had been talking to me with the owl back to the telephone beside his car where the officer had pulled up to, to have a look at it…his 1st time ever seeing a Snowy Owl. He admitted to me it was a special moment for him and one he will never forget, of, in his words "a magnificent bird." He also told me that although he could have easily taken a nice picture of the owl right next to his vehicle he decided not too, partially given the circumstances, and partially as he just wanted to remember his time watching the bird, as it was. As we talked, the owl flew off, and the CPO figured it was now somewhere out in the field. But after hanging up with me, the 2nd birder pulled up to ask what the officer thought about the owl coming back to land right next to his vehicle alongside the road. The officer called me back just to pass this amazing aspect to his visit there. I think there is a very good lesson to be learned here…and the officer knew what that was, as well as I did, and he thought this would be good to pass along to the folks on the listserve for them to think about.

The moral to this story….obviously, this owl has obviously learned that road + car = human with owl food. Personally, in the several/many Snowy Owls I have seen (& read about) over the years, I have never heard of one flying over and landing right next to a car, especially after already having flown off from the road and said car and telephone pole earlier. The usual response by a Snowy Owl after too close of an approach by a human is to fly off quite a distance across a field, and not to return again for at least that particular day. And, that indeed has been what has been happening with this particular owl when the humans approach too closely with a mouse…which is why they have been noted "chasing" the owl a half mile or more west across the fields there. Of course, the sight of easily captured prey is too much for just about any hungry predator to take without instinctively reacting, which is why the photographers use this particular technique. As a biologist/ornithologist who has done a lot of reading on the subject, I can tell you that this owl has now become habituated to knowing people means food, which does not bode well for this particular owl's longevity. It is the same reason that dozens/hundreds (more??) of black bears are shot and killed each year in towns in this country by conservation officers (witnessed this myself several years ago) after coming to town for food too many times. This owl will now likely land on poles along roadsides a lot more in the future, than it would have without all of the baiting that has been going on. As I mentioned earlier, roads, cars/trucks, and raptors more times than not equals a dead raptor lying along the roadside, especially for any given raptor that starts making a habit out of hunting prey along busy roads. Hopefully, this info makes it out to some of the others…birders or bird photographers, that will be headed out to see the Ogle Snowy Owl with a box of mice (though I'm not sure things like this matter to people like the ones offering up all of the mice). The CPO plans on making a few more visits to stop and talk to some of the folks out there to see what some of their thoughts are. Good luck to this Snowy Owl in the years to come…it will need it."



Feb 17, 2011 at 02:44 AM
Dave MC
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p.3 #5 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Matt,

Thank you for asking the question and passing on the response! It's nice to hear an authorities take on this situation.

Dave



Feb 17, 2011 at 03:01 AM
mlorenz26
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p.3 #6 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Dave MC wrote:
Matt,

Thank you for asking the question and passing on the response! It's nice to hear an authorities take on this situation.

Dave




You're welcome Dave.

Matt



Feb 17, 2011 at 03:04 AM
uz2work
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p.3 #7 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


mlorenz26 wrote:
I received an email from an Ornithologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey regarding recent behavior of the Snowy Owl in relation to baiting/feeding. Below is directly copied and pasted from the email. Enjoy.

Matt

"I had to pass on a couple of interesting experiences had by the CPO (Conservation Police Officer) that covers the Ogle/Carroll County area where the Snowy Owl currently is. I spent time contacting and talking to various governmental conservation biologists and police officers today. I had a couple of long conversations with the CPO today and he talked and researched with others concerning the legality of the
...Show more

Had one person thrown a mouse or two to this owl on one occasion, I might be inclined to think, putting aside any discussion about the "right way" to get pictures, that doing so had minimal likelihood of endangering the bird. What changes the picture, however, is the effect of the internet and other networking done by photographers and others. As word of the bird's presence quickly spread, this snowy owl (and many others, I'd guess) has drawn photographers on a daily basis for many weeks now, and it has been baited by a good number of those on an almost daily basis through the course of that time. While it might be easy to quickly dismiss the actions of any one of the people who have been baiting the bird as being harmless, the more import impact on the bird's well-being comes as the result of the cumulative effects of the baiting by many people over an extended period of time.

The report from the Conservation Police Officer is very consistent with what I saw on the day when I went to see the same owl last week. After these weeks of being fed by humans on a daily basis, there is no question that the bird is now relying on people as, perhaps, its main source of food, and there is also no question that it has developed a level of trust for humans that cannot be good for its well being. Not only is the bird, when it sees a car stopping along the road, immediately flying to the nearest telephone pole, but it also pays immediate attention to any action by humans that might indicate that those humans were about to bring out a mouse. And, when the mouse is released, the bird immediately goes for the mouse, quickly consumes it, and immediately returns to the same telephone pole to wait for the next mouse. On the day when I was there, the bird was offered more mice (at least a dozen) than I would have thought that an owl would have been able to eat in less than hour, and, with the release of each mouse, its behavior reminded me more of what I would have expected to see from a trained dog than what I would have expected to see from an animal in the wild. Further, when someone walks right up to and under the bird's perch on the telephone pole, instead of going into flight, the bird is clearly looking for the next mouse that it expects the person to provide.

As much as I was looking forward to seeing this beautiful bird, when I was there, I found it impossible to enjoy being there. Within a very short period of time observing the owl's behavior, it became apparent to me that it was likely that the constant and daily stream of people who had been baiting the bird had done damage that did not bode well for its future. My philosophy toward taking wildlife pictures has always been that I want the bird/animal to behave exactly as would be behaving had I not been there. With this owl, it was just the opposite. It was clear that the only reason why the bird was even there was because it was expecting humans to feed it.

As much as I might otherwise enjoy getting pictures of a snowy owl in flight, if that is the only way that I can get them, I won't be disappointed at not getting those pictures, and, after what I saw, I'm not sure that I can ever enjoy looking at a picture of a snowy or great gray or other owl in flight or going after prey and knowing the circumstances under which that picture was likely taken. Except for those who want to rationalize to justify their own selfish behavior, I don't know how anyone could have watched this bird behaving like a trained circus animal and not come to the conclusion that the baiting had done harm to the bird.

Les Zigurski


Edited on Feb 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM · View previous versions



Feb 17, 2011 at 03:43 AM
Tlazer
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p.3 #8 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Thank you Matt and Les for your postings. It seems that sometimes we are turning into a selfish society, where the only thing that matter is that I get what I want, the easiest way possible, no matter what it does to anyone or anything else.


Feb 17, 2011 at 04:10 AM
Tim Kuhn
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p.3 #9 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Thank you Les for chiming in, an individual of your stature opinion surely has to be respected. Thank you sir.

Tim



Feb 17, 2011 at 05:23 AM
mlorenz26
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p.3 #10 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Tlazer wrote:
Thank you Matt and Les for your postings. It seems that sometimes we are turning into a selfish society, where the only thing that matter is that I get what I want, the easiest way possible, no matter what it does to anyone or anything else.



You're Welcome.


Matt



Feb 17, 2011 at 12:00 PM
 

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ajt36
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p.3 #11 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


As much as I was looking forward to seeing this beautiful bird, when I was there, I found it impossible to enjoy being there. Within a very short period of time observing the owl's behavior, it became apparent to me that it was likely that the constant and daily stream of people who had been baiting the bird had done damage that did not bode well for its future. My philosophy toward taking wildlife pictures has always been that I want the bird/animal to behave exactly as would be behaving had I not been there. With this owl, it was just the opposite. It was clear that the only reason why the bird was even there was because it was expecting humans to feed it.

It is a shame that this happens, and it may be the difference between a true "wildlife" photographer and those lazy recreational photographers. I have found that most true wildlife photographers keep info on animals close to the vest, and I don't blame them. I've actually been pretty content to sit out there and wait, often coming home with nothing. As I've learned where certain animals tend to be, I've not disclosed those locations to anyone. It doesn't take much for one joker to ruin it for everybody and change an animals behavior in a negative way, couple that with a mass disclosure to others, and you get what happens to that snowy owl.

I don't know if the answer is an outright ban on baiting or what. But I do think there is a difference between 20 photographers on the roadside doing it, and one photographer carefully and with the animals overall safety in mind doing it far from heavily traveled areas. So in that regard, an outright ban seems unfair.



Feb 17, 2011 at 02:23 PM
ultrarunner
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p.3 #12 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


This is a very interesting subject. And I'm interested in the opinions on how folks feel this is different than the baiting of predatory fish? Or any other predatory animal.

In reading the thread, there appears to be a bias toward this issue as it relates to the baiting of raptors, when the baiting of other predatory animals is quite common.



Feb 17, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Tlazer
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p.3 #13 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


It becomes an ethics issue really. Between what is right and wrong. Case in point some brown bear hunters became outraged when some photographer showed pictures of how they got their bear. They opened up hunting in an area next to the McNeil River preserve, so it was legal to do what they did, but what it showed was them looking at the bears the day before because you can not hunt the day you fly, and the next day shooting a nice brown bear. What it shows is the bears total lack of interest in the hunters because they became to view humans not as a threat. So these hunters were literally 100 feet away from the bears and the bears could care less, not normal bear behavior. Now I am not saying they should close down McNeil or totally close hunting, but I think we know what is right and wrong.


Feb 17, 2011 at 03:38 PM
brede
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p.3 #14 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Sadly there is no difference between baiting/feeding of a raptor and some other animal that seems to be "acceptable" to bait and feed.

I was once told by a person at the pet store while buying bird seed that if I didn't keep the bird feeders full all the time for the entire year, that the birds that came to my feeders would die. Now, I travel alot, and often times my feeders don't get filled for weeks, sometimes months, and I don't see any dead birds staved to death on my back porch. But the day that I fill them, there are tons of birds back in my yard. So wouldn't one concluded that those birds aren't relaying on humans but are only opportunistic and willing to take advantage of easy food. So if nobody has a problem baiting/feeding the birds in your yard, how is it any different with this Snowy.

And saying that because it had been feed by humans means that it will be unable to live successfully in the wild and hunt for its self is completely ridiculous. That is implying that because it takes a couple of mice from the side of a gravel road that it forgets its natural instinct to hunt, its just not possible. Life as a whole is extremely adaptable, and will take any opportunities it can to survive. And by saying that any human contact immediately means a shorted life span to the creature is totally false.

And Matt, I have spent many years with biologist not just ornithologists, but wildlife biologists as well. I have worked with them on elaborate baiting techniques to bring whatever we are after closer, and sometimes with the goal of studying the animal to learn about it, we have done it all over the world, and I have worked with hundreds of biologists, so for you to say that you have talked to a couple of biologist that think it might not be a great idea, is like saying that you have talked to a couple of scientists that say the climate isn't changing, or a couple of priests that say the earth is only a couple thousand years old. I'm sorry but cherry picking what specialists have to say for the sake of your argument is just wrong.

And the black bears were being removed because they were KILLING people, not because the biologist thought, oh they won't be able to survive because we are feeding them. No they were coming into campsites, peoples yards, and sometimes even homes looking for food. That is why it is illegal in most states to feed predators that can kill you.

Overall I hope that everyone that does ever feed any kind of animal does realizes that they are stepping into a world that has huge responsibility, but I can't see how anybody can make the case that feeding your backyard birds is ok, while feeding the snowy owl is not.



Feb 17, 2011 at 03:49 PM
mlorenz26
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p.3 #15 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


brede wrote:
Sadly there is no difference between baiting/feeding of a raptor and some other animal that seems to be "acceptable" to bait and feed.

I was once told by a person at the pet store while buying bird seed that if I didn't keep the bird feeders full all the time for the entire year, that the birds that came to my feeders would die. Now, I travel alot, and often times my feeders don't get filled for weeks, sometimes months, and I don't see any dead birds staved to death on my back porch. But the day that I fill them,
...Show more




I wasn't cherry picking to state my argument, I was providing an example of the recent behavior that was witnessed by a State of Illinois Official. The ornithologist I communicated with also communicated with other State Officials that recommend, write, research, and implement Wildlife and Natural Resource actions and plans in Illinois. When baiting for research and survey purposes there are protocols, procedures and permits that have to be followed, I know that because I have worked on several research projects around the U.S. as a Wildlife Technician.


Matt



Feb 17, 2011 at 11:53 PM
Tlazer
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p.3 #16 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


As we talk about "baiting or feeding" it is not that the bird will forget how to hunt or become dependent on humans, it is about putting the bird or animal in an enviroment and stimulating a set response that WE want for our enjoyment, and not what the animal would normally do. Case in point would the owl, would he be along the side of road as much as he is if he wasn't being fed? I would think the chance of getting hit by a vehicle goes up dramatically, yes I know birds get hit all the time and I am not disputing that, but what happens when the bird spots a car stopping on the other side of the road and fly's across the road to beg for food only to get hit by a truck coming past? What then, would you be proud of yourself?

For those who say the professional's do it, the picture in Nat Geo and other magazines as well as covers are of baited animals, SO WHAT!!!! Just because a professional does it does NOT MAKE IT RIGHT, as many of them I am sure are not ethical. So what you are saying is if the professional photographer climbs into a cage with a bear and get mauled, it is ok for you to do it, because look at the shot he got of the bear running at him teeth barred just before he got attacked? I know this is extreme and some of you will comment, but trying to make a point that just because someone else does something doesn't make it right.

I find it troubling that it seems like all we care about is ourselves, ethically right or not just doesn't matter. Look at the shot I got. All about ME, look at ME, I am a big wildlife photographer. I do not want to put in time it might take to get the photo the right way, so I will stimulate a response, do it the easy way, so I can get the shot I think I deserve. I have left comments on this site as well as others such as "do you have a lot of headless fish swimming in your rivers" and "I have never seen an eagle pick the fish out of the water upside down with the gills ripped out of it before". To my amazement no one has ever commented back "we were baiting the eagle so we could get a shot of him grabbing a fish with his talons out", but the minute someone posts "nice shot" after I left my comment they are quick to answer with "thanks". If doing this is OK and everyone else is doing it why hide it? Come clean and quit trying to deceive people, if you needed to do this to get the shot just say so why hide it.

Matt, thank you for contacting your local wildlife biologist's, ornithologists and local officials. I know you were not cherry picking you contacts, but stating what some of the local officials thought about what was going on. I know some of you will leave posts on my comments, and that is fine, but in doing so leave some valid points and maybe I will change my mind, but I doubt it will happen.



Feb 18, 2011 at 04:17 AM
mlorenz26
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p.3 #17 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Tlazer wrote:
As we talk about "baiting or feeding" it is not that the bird will forget how to hunt or become dependent on humans, it is about putting the bird or animal in an enviroment and stimulating a set response that WE want for our enjoyment, and not what the animal would normally do. Case in point would the owl, would he be along the side of road as much as he is if he wasn't being fed? I would think the chance of getting hit by a vehicle goes up dramatically, yes I know birds get hit all the time
...Show more




Thank you for your thoughts and opinion. It's much appreciated.


Matt



Feb 18, 2011 at 12:04 PM
ajt36
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p.3 #18 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


I haven't ever fed raptors for a shot. I probably never will because it is just not something I'm prepared to do to get a photograph. However, before I could affirmatively state I am for or against feeding, I'd have to hear what these other biologists are saying that brede refers to. So far, we have one anecdotal experience from a conservation officer about the apparent negative impact of photographers feeding a snowy owl. Nobody in this discussion has really addressed how an owl, hawk, or eagle is different than a songbird when it comes to feeding - IF that feeding is done with the animals welfare in mind. I can at least deduce some things (and maybe I'm wrong on some of this, so if somebody has different information, please share):

#1 - It seems that feeding songbirds is more acceptable because (1) they are EVERYWHERE, and (2) there is at least some level of quality control with bird seed. It might not be perfect. It might not be completely appropriate for their diet, but people fill birdfeeders probably millions of times a day around this country and we have plenty of songbirds still flittering about and plenty of photographers snapping photos, uploading them to Flickr or wherever and nobody challenging them because they used a bird feeder to get a shot of cardinal or a woodpecker.

There does seem to be a problem with quality control with what people might feed a raptor. There is no "raptor food" next to the bird seed in the home improvement store. I will say that I unequivocally have a problem with people feeding live domesticated animals to raptors. Put aside the possibility of disease (which I'm not entirely convinced is a realistic threat), domesticated mice, rats, gerbils, and rabbits are not prepared to survive in the wild. If, for whatever reason, the raptor does not grab this prey before it disappears, it is extremely unlikely that it is going to live for more than a few days and it is going to die an inhumane death (starve, most likely). (I can say this affirmatively with house rabbits since I'm involved in rabbit rescue and idiots release house rabbits into the wild all the time thinking they are just like the wild ones in their backyard).

So I find it unlikely if a photographer were to find an appropriate, freshly killed food source that is sold in a supermarket that it would have any significant impact on a raptor's health. I mean, c'mon, it is fit for human consumption! It might mean spending 25 or 30 bucks for some organic rabbit meat or some game hens, but if you want to feed a raptor to get a photograph, it seems like a small price to pay.

#2 - My experience with songbirds is the same as brede's. I feed them. Maybe I stop for 2 or 3 weeks until I get to the store for more bird seed (or the d@mn squirrels break my feeder... again!), but the songbirds always come back. They are surviving on the surrounding natural resources in the interim, and when my food source comes back, they go back to the feeders.

So far nobody has told me that a raptor would behave differently. We have heard of anecdotal evidence that a snowy owl has become accustomed to people throwing mice on some roadside. Well, what is the owl doing in the interim? Moreover, I think you make assumptions that raptors are much dumber than they really are. They know the difference between a car stopped on the side of the road and a car traveling at 60 mph. Other than the ones who are truly out in the wild, they deal with cars, trucks, and other man-made "threats" all the time (maybe not up there in Anchorage, tlbazer, but they do around a populated area like here in Maryland).

Anecdotally, there is a stretch of highway on my daily commute that I can count 2 to 5 hawks most days of the week perched in the trees, and they are there hunting in the grassy median. We created a fertile hunting ground, and despite other areas off the highway that are probably decent hunting grounds, it appears the median on this major highway has proven the best. Do they get hit? Yeah, unfortunately, they do... I had the misfortune of hitting one a year ago. But to say that day-in/day-out these birds can't observe the risk of a car or truck speeding by at 75 mph just doesn't make sense. I mean, they can see a 6 inch long rodent from a 1/4 mile away in the brush, I think they can see a 15 foot long car.

#3 - Feeding (in most cases) is not illegal. You can argue all you want about whether it is ethical or not, but it is going to happen. So how do you get people who are going to do it, to do it in a way that has the least amount of impact on the animal being fed? Scientists have been studying all sorts of animals for decades - baiting them, drugging them to get close for tagging or to observe young. I'd love to know what the protocols are when they feed an animal for research purposes. It seems if a photographer is going to feed an animal, he or she should at least follow those protocols as closely as possible.

Life is not black and white. I don't agree that anybody who feeds an animal to get a photograph is some unethical, selfish person. I do think there is a right and wrong way to do it. 27 photographers on a roadside throwing live mice out every day is (to me) the wrong way. One photographer tossing a recently dead shad out into the river (especially from the same river) for an eagle to grab does not really bother me.



Feb 18, 2011 at 05:03 PM
CampX
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p.3 #19 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


Cute fluffy little sparrows come to my feeder to eat all the seed I leave for them.... when the seed is gone, do they hang around the empty feeder, and die of starvation?

Wicked predator with sharp talons and razor beak gets baited a mouse or two so a photographer can snap a few photos..... does that owl hang around the snowy field waiting for more until it, too, dies of starvation?

I think not.

Interesting thread here, lots of good points made.

Here is a story to ponder. Grizzly bears in Northern BC are starting to COME to the sound of gunshots, because they have learned that a gunshot usually means a nice fresh gutpile of elk, moose, or caribou awaits them. Which makes it interesting for a hunter or hunting party, when skinning and packing out their meat, that a grizzly might jump them at any second or rampage through their camp.

As for black bears getting habituated to people, a fed bear is a dead bear in my books. I am a hunter, also, besides my love of photography, and I have had to shoot black bears that were going to kill me.



Feb 18, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Cincy Bruce
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p.3 #20 · Question regarding ethics in relation to baiting for photographic opportunities


I'm a little confused now.

This forum was created to display photography for sharing with others. Since I've been a member I have learned some skills with the help of a few friends here (hoping they don't mind me calling them friends). I come here to view the skill of many, and to request help when my shots are below the standard posted here.

I don't care what the circumstances are leading to the shot. I want to learn why the photographer chose the shot taken. What type of gear? What were the settings? I want to know how and why the thirds system of display works.

If an ornithologist, or a conservation officer disagrees let them do their job and educate the public; not here.

Bruce



Feb 18, 2011 at 06:25 PM
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