Birding Ethics

It’s important to be respectful of the birds and the areas they live in when birding. Many hotspots are in fragile ecosystems and require special care. Others are near working ranches or urban areas and require good neighborly conduct.

1. Keep your distance.

  • Use binoculars, telephoto lenses, or spotting scopes to get a good look without approaching the bird.
  • If the bird is reacting to your presence, you’re too close. Back away and give it time to settle down. Do not approach or attempt to flush birds from resting or feeding spots.
  • Patience will usually be rewarded.

2. Keep the mute on.

  • Avoid playback devices or loud talking.
  • Carry a cell phone, but turn it off when on the trail.
  • Blend into the background (unless it’s a hunting area where you’ll want to be easily seen).

3. Keep healthy and safe.

  • Stay hydrated and wear appropriate shoes and clothing.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Park only in designated areas.
  • Pull off the road completely before stopping and only on paved shoulders. Do not pull off over grass, especially in the dry season.

4. Keep aloha alive.

  • Respect private property and do not trespass.
  • Carry out whatever you carry in and pick up after others who may not be aware they’ve left something behind.
  • Be considerate of others and share your sightings.
  • Participate in conservation projects to keep island habitats healthy.
  • Take action to avoid spreading Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death and invasive plants.

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