21October2021

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Rare Bird Network Warns of Careless Social Media Use - Philip Voice

You can just imagine the delight of a birdwatcher as they stumble across a bird nesting site. Maybe young chicks are in the nest or eggs are being incubated by a parent bird? It is so easy for a bird enthusiast to pull out a smartphone and snap away and immediately in the excitement share their find with friends or the wider bird watching community. 

By tweeting or adding a photo of a nesting site to Facebook a birdwatcher immediately puts a nest with eggs or un-hatched birds at risk. Because of social media's ubiquitous nature, recording findings and sharing them with others may also alert those with less honourable intentions, to where eggs and young birds might be.

Tweets may also record and publish the exact coordinates of a nest site's location meaning that anyone can use a satnav system to navigate to the exact spot. The Rare Bird Network has worked alongside the Rare Breeding Birds Panel and the British Trust for Ornithology to produce a social media guide.

They say: "Before tweeting your sightings during the breeding season, please pause and think before hitting send. You wouldn't want that information ending up in the wrong hands would you? Twitter has a search facility, so one careless tweet during the breeding season could direct an egg collector, a raptor persecutor or an irresponsible photographer/birder straight to a sensitive breeding species at an unprotected site.

"The breeding season is considered to run from March – July and although there probably is a little flexibility in these dates if you adhere to the guidelines below you shouldn't go far wrong."

The Rare Bird Network also remind people that it is an offence to disturb nesting birds during the breeding season. For more information on rare birds and advice on social media use, visit the Rare Bird Network here

Source: Landscape Juice - Rare Bird Network Warns of Careless Social Media Use - Philip Voice