Saturday, 1st July, 2017 - There were some folks in the Ramble of Central Park (Manhattan, N.Y. City) apparently following a grown man around who was blasting amplified recordings of various birds at decibel levels which were loud enough to be heard - loudly - more than 100 yards away & farther, this being observed as early as are ound 5:40 a.m. - these were the only other persons, besides myself, who were noted anywhere in the Ramble area with binoculars at that early hour. The amplified songs &/or calls were repeated for minutes on end, for various species. This is not a normal thing for someone to do in any situation, but is far beyond the pale of any person[s] attempting to have a running business (for-profit) that involves bringing people on walks to see birds - when done to such excess as was seen and heard this morning - high inappropriate for the location, wholly inappropriate for the season, and far too loud & too extended under any circumstances - it is an unnecessary & unethical means of attempting to lure birds, and in fact often has the effect of chasing birds away.
Hearing in birds is far more sensitive than in any human, & if a human can hear a recorded version of a bird call or song at a volume greater than the actual bird is capable of even from point-blank range, yet the person able to hear this is standing 100 yards away, it is clear that that amplified sound, or any “noises” that cause birds to be upset, is unhealthy to, and for, these birds. When this behavior is repeated over & over, and in the midst of breeding & nesting season, it may contribute to stress for the birds which might even cause a failure of the breeding cycle. The activities of the person found doing this on this early morning have been observed over the past 2 decades, & this person is very well aware of the unethical & harassing nature of this sort of activity. Indeed, were this to be found occurring in such a place as Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, just to give one example, the person doing this would be told by the parks police to desist, or expect legal action to be taken. There is good reason for rules, laws, which are in effect in many places, on public lands & parks & preserves, that no one shall use amplified sound for luring birds at any time. It is unfortunate that there are those who choose to offer financial or other support to anyone who has no qualms about harassing birds in such a way, on such a continual basis. Around the country, and around the world, those who make a business of showing birds or other wildlife to others, have adopted ethical standards for doing so, and most conservation organizations have put into effect common-sense standards for the behavior of birders & all who wish to observe wildlife. Again, in many locations, these standard are also laws and regulatlions - and they are in place to give protection to vulnerable wildlife. It is, above all, incumbent on those who take others around, for profit-making business or otherwise, to observe wildlife / birds, that they are doing as absolutely little as possible to disturb that which they wish to observe. In the case of the grown man taking a group, at the hour of 5:30 a.m. & afterwards this morning, it appears that those following this man may not be aware of the harrassing nature of this man’s activities towards breeding & other birds; they may not be fully-aware of how wrong that harassment is. It is a complete contradiction to any scientific interest of any kind, and is simply harmful to any bird to be finding such excessive amplified playing of sounds that upset & disturb the bird[s]. --- Of bird sightings, some early-birds noted in Central Park for this Saturday included 2 male Wood Ducks, an eclipse-plumaged male ongoing at The Pond, & a high-breeding-plumaged male at the Conservatory Water (a.k.a. the ‘model boat pond); a Spotted Sandpiper at The Pond, and a bit later, 2 additional Spotted Sandpipers at The Pool, & again at The Pond, a Louisiana Waterthrush on the southern edge. Many of the breeding species of the park have been relatively quiet, and many are now feeding young. More on that at another point. Use of recordings of any sort are completely unnecessary for observing which species are present in Central Park, and use of any amplified songs, calls, or ‘noises’ to lure birds at this time of year is harassment in a place such as Central. One expects better, and it is for those leading bird-walks to set a higher, not low standard of behavior. good -and ethical- birding, Tom Fiore manhattan -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --