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How and where to take great bird pictures.
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TOPIC: Calendar nesting bird photo - a bad look

Calendar nesting bird photo - a bad look 6 months 3 weeks ago #1497

  • Graham Cam
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Thank you Jill for drawing this to our attention - i am most appreciative. I personally do not buy calendars preferring my digital versions and i would have replied sooner but I had to take a few days away from BLP business.

I'm not surprised at the publication of this image and like you i'm disgusted that BirdLife continues to ignore our ethical stand on nesting bird images. Georgina Steytler and I wrote the ethics policy for good reasons, articulated clearly within that document.

For me as a highly experienced biologist I am continually frustrated by the ignorance of the wider community on this topic. Often the justification is that the photographer called 'X' is a renown wildlife photography and naturalist and somehow this justifies the ethical issues. it does not and in almost all instances that person doesn't not have the academic background to fully understand the issues at hand, no first-hand understanding of animal ethics nor the questions and requirements an animal ethics committee would apply to capturing such an image in the first place.

I dont know who is the staff member at BL responsible for producing the calendar but I will take this further with B\L as I have in the past. BL and the BLP committee are planning a workshop in February 2018 and I will ensure that this issue is on the agenda.

it definitely sends the wrong message to the wider community and ro our members and I now am compelled to send a News and Announcements to our members conveying my disappointment and re-iterate why we have taken such a stand on this issue.

My gut instinct tells me that BL will say that our policy has not been ratified by the BL Board and therefore not universally adopted. This will also form part of our February meeting. Ratified or not, BLP will not change its stand on this issue. History has shown that a a moral/ ethical stand on an issue, especially when supported by sound evidence will in the end change minds, albeit this may take time. When BLP published our ethics policy, I drew a line in the sand and I will not withdraw from this position.

Carl Sagan was one of the worlds foremost astronomers, cosmologists and astrobiologists of the last century and I use one of his quotes most often because I can not say this any better myself. Un fortunately it is a sad reflection on the society in which we live.

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." Carl Sagan

Regards
Graham

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Calendar nesting bird photo - a bad look 6 months 3 weeks ago #1498

  • Georgina Steytler
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Hi Bruce, dont worry too much about this. We are all on the same side and its an often made mistake. I am just glad to see someone else advocating on this issue. I have been making a bit of a fuss in lots of forums and have been labelled 'a passionate' person . Keep up your passion. its a good thing, not a bad one.

Kind regards
Geogrina
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Calendar nesting bird photo - a bad look 6 months 3 weeks ago #1499

  • Georgina Steytler
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Thank you Graham. I invite BirdLife Australia to have me over for a discussion on this issue if they dont agree. I have tried to educate photographers on the nature of the problem, but most seem incapable of looking past the fact that they think they didn;t do anything wrong in taking the photo - they just cant see the bigger picture. I would hope that with some rationale discussion from non-competitive or non-professional bird photographers, BirdLife Australia can be made to understand the issue properly. They have a role to play as role models there job is to lead by example.
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Last edit: by Georgina Steytler.

Calendar nesting bird photo - a bad look 6 months 3 weeks ago #1500

  • Georgina Steytler
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Thank you Jill for raising this issue. I have written to my contacts at BirdLife Australia. I hope they listen and don't just dismiss us as irrelevant.
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