Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition
Ethical Birding Guidelines
Be Mindful of the Birds
- The interests and welfare of the birds ALWAYS come first.
- Do not interrupt or interfere with their normal behavior, be it feeding, nesting, or roosting.
- Keep your distance; don’t flush or make them fly.
- Learn to recognize bird behavior so you notice signs of stress, then back off.
- Keep your movements slow and steady, keep conversations minimal and voices soft, and mute cell phones.
- If viewing from your car, stay inside as long as possible to increase your chances of seeing natural behavior.
- Wear neutral-colored clothing (white is a danger signal to many birds, and bright colors may scare them off).
- Only the leader of a bird walk can use pishing or recorded bird calls and it must be kept to a minimum, since it alters the birds’ normal behavior. In nesting season, these activities are forbidden.
- Don’t handle birds, nests, or eggs.
- Leave pets at home.
- No flash photography.
Be Mindful of People and Safety
- Observe private property boundaries and be mindful not to cross over private land fencing. Please don’t trespass.
- Follow all laws, rules and regulations governing the use of roads and public spaces. Please do not travel on private lanes leading to homes.
- Pull safely off the road when you stop; if there is no shoulder, don’t stop. Use caution when driving and exiting your vehicle.
- Private cars may not follow our crane viewing shuttles.
- Be prepared with proper footwear, hats, warm clothing, gloves, sunscreen, and water.
- Stay with your group.
- Practice common courtesy in your interactions with other people in your group and with non-birders and the general public, so as to be an ambassador for the birding community.
- Share your knowledge, sightings, and enthusiasm with others.
- When using a spotting scope, take a quick look and then step aside. Once everyone has had a chance to see, go back for a longer look.
Be Mindful of Your Own Personal Birding Experience
- Be patient, bird quietly, and walk slowly.
Be Mindful of Nature
- Support conservation and protection of important bird habitat.
- Carpool whenever possible.
- Don’t damage or disturb bird habitat.
- Stay on roads, trails and paths.
- Don’t litter.
We encourage all participants in CCCC activities to understand and observe the principles set forth in the American Birding Association’s Code of Birding Ethics.
Craniacs quietly observing sandhill cranes near Hayden, Colorado