This past week, I was out birding and came across six bird nests all around our farm. Whenever I come across a nest, it’s likely because the parent sitting on the nest has flushed from my presence; this is a particular problem in Alberta at this time of year, with farmers starting to swath alfalfa in their hay fields and surprising many nesting birds, particularly ducks.
I will take about a minute to look at the contents in nest, but will spend as little time near it as possible, as my presence may attract predators, and make the parents feel so unsafe that they might decide to abandon the nesting site. I’ve found quite a few nests from small songbirds to waterfowl. I try to follow the ABA’s Code of Birding Ethics as well as the North American Photography Association (NANPA) Principles of Ethical Field Practices.
A friend of mine, Utah wildlife photographer and blogger Mia McPherson, wrote a post in May titled, “Please… give nests and chicks respect”, in which she gave a helpful list on
Ethics on photographing nesting birds:
Do not approach too closely
If the birds show any sign of distress, back away
Don’t trim leaves, twigs or branches to get a clearer shot, you may inadvertently attract predators or cause the eggs/chicks to over heat
Follow local, state and federal guidelines concerning nesting birds
Don’t harass the birds to get an action shot
Don’t stay a long time with nesting birds or chicks, that disrupts their normal behavior
Always remember that your scent may draw predators to the area of nesting birds or birds with chicks.
I believe this is a Chipping Sparrow as it looks similar to a Chipping Sparrow nest I found last year. This nest is on the ground, but the nest I found last year was in a spruce tree,
Brewer’s Blackbird nest in our lilac shelterbelt,
This Sora nest had seven eggs and one chick, but as I walked past the nest, the chick jumped out and swam away,
A female Robin nesting in one of our maple trees,
Here’s another duck nest, but I’m not sure on the species. The eggs are a little smaller than the Mallard’s, but larger than Teals’,