I received some very interesting correspondence regarding last Monday’s post (link here). The responses were mostly complimentary but some seemed to infer a message that I was not trying to convey. After reading all the comments on the post and some direct emails, I think I was not clear in my message. So I will be blunt today. I love birding and bird photography. My post was only trying to share the fact that I have differing expectations when I undertake one vs. the other. I wasn’t trying to infer that one needed to take sides or that one activity was superior to the other! There were some comments about both birders and bird photographers (mostly photographers) not behaving properly and maintaining a philosophy of “get the shot at all costs”. I have seen this behavior myself and think it is wrong. We as birding/wildlife advocates need to do whatever we can to stop any behavior that would jeopardize the welfare of the wildlife we are observing. I have always practiced “No image is worth the welfare of the subject” during my wildlife photography and viewing attempts.
One interesting perspective came from Robert Mortensen over at Birding is Fun (link here). I really enjoyed how he used the umbrella to describe different aspects of birding that make up its own ecosystem. I think that umbrella could be expanded to encompass all wildlife, not just birding. But Robert’s post started me thinking a little differently. I have a few ideas that I am going to let germinate but plan on sharing with all of you shortly. Again thanks for the great “debate” and all the comments. I’m glad so many of you enjoyed the topic and hopefully you are thinking differently about this as well!