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nest photos


millipede

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I'm once again kind of torn on a situation in a bird group I manage.
I'm leaning towards a rule stating that ANY bird nests photos have to be from a good distance away unless someone can prove they're doing a nesting survey(official) or some kind.

I currently have a rule that "discourages" bird nest photos... and of course, I have people with different feelings on it. Some people lately are taking REALLY up close photos, over and over and over again... and other people that want all bird nest photos banned.

Who doesn't enjoy seeing baby birds?  Yet, how often can you get photos of nests with young and not stress the birds out at all?
hmmm

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4 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Photo metadata should give you the focal length, maybe even the lens used. 

I've tried looking and can't tell how to see metadata on the pics on facebook.
I did end up removing a photo and a video that someone took holding their camera INSIDE a buebird nest box while the eggs were hatching.
I made the mistake ? of mentioning to the group that I'm going to be editing the rules to be more clear on the issue and I already had one person complain... they complained about the "bird police" and then said that if people have to post how far away they are then so should the photographers that are a safe distance away but camp out in one spot for hours.
So, being a safe distance away for hours is comparable to being right up in a bird's nest?
The person then said that no amount of rules updates would make "those" people happy so, they were leaving the group.
Humans are weird.

I also need to find people that FULLY understand the rules and will be willing to work with me and will take the time to hear what I have to say... that will help me moderate, or at least approve new requests. The group is at about 9.5k members now.
Would be a lot easier to manage if you could just trust everyone on facebook. ha.

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Tossing out my 2 cents worth here.

#1 People will take photos of bird nests.

#2 People will share those photos online.

#3 Rules on a facebook page won't change #1 or #2.

#4 Policing nest photos involves detective type work.

#5 When a tough call needs be made, always favour on the side of the bird.

 

It sounds to me like you have a few options...

A: Allow all nest photos.

B: Don't allow any nest photos.

C Allow some nest photos and spend your time policing and arguing about which ones are appropriate and which ones aren't.

 

Regardless of your decision, the right thing to do is to discourage anyone from disturbing the wildlife they photograph.

Perhaps I am over simplifying things, but what do you expect for 2 cents .?

Edited by lonestranger
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  • 1 year later...

Almost 2 years later... I'm back on this subject.
The Birding in Massachusetts group now has over 20k members. There are a few really good photographers... a few of them go to the heron rookery what seems like every day. LOTS of photos. I have to remind them to post any info they can on the distance to and/or lens used when photographing any nests. Most of the time, the birds look relatively relaxed so I don't worry about it too much.
But the one moderator I have messaged me early this morning thinking we need to revisit the idea of just banning all nest photos. We've been seeing owl nest photos, osprey, ravens, and more.
I wish it was easier to really judge how far people are. Maybe I should insist on a non-cropped photo along with the cropped photos to give us a better feel of distance?
I hate the idea of outlawing all those photos but, people are OBSESSED with nest photos right now.
I can't really blame them but... eh...

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I don't get the urge to share on the web everything one does. 

If you allow nest photos, there remains the possibility (eventual probability?) of harm being done.

If you ban them, who gets hurt?  They'll likely find somewhere else to post them anyway, but at least you won't be complicit. 

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On 4/8/2023 at 9:23 AM, millipede said:

I wish it was easier to really judge how far people are. Maybe I should insist on a non-cropped photo along with the cropped photos to give us a better feel of distance?

Asking people to prove they are photographing birds ethically will be hard to police. First you'd have to determine how to establish a safe distance and then try to enforce it. Is XX feet far enough or should it be XX yards?  Is a nest that's closer than XX distance acceptable if the nest was built closer than XX, such as porch nests or nests in the trees/bushes that are within arms reach of a deck? Where do you draw the line? Does that line change with different birds? Does the line change as the circumstances change? Just establishing the rules sounds pretty complicated to me, enforcing them would be even harder.

Just like the size of a bird is hard to judge in the field and in a photo, distance is just as hard to judge in the field, and even harder to judge in a two dimensional photo. The moderators would need to know the difference in the field of view between cell phone camera lenses, standard lenses, telephoto lenses, super zoom lenses, etc., and how cropping equates into the formula of calculating how far away the photographer was. Just the different focal lengths alone would make it virtually impossible to police the distance between the photographer and nest just from a photo. 

Without the photographer's declaration of ethical photography, or exif data with focal distance included, I don't see how you can police nest photos for distance, even with cropped and uncropped comparison photos.

Edited by lonestranger
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On 4/8/2023 at 9:23 AM, millipede said:

Maybe I should insist on a non-cropped photo along with the cropped photos to give us a better feel of distance?

I feel obligated to add that the camera's megapixels and sensor size would also need to be considered along with the focal length when comparing cropped and uncropped photos for distance. 

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