Wildlife Viewing Etiquette
Note*** Please be courteous and leave all pets at home or in your vehicle while visiting these environmentally sensitive sites.
Where ever possible, view from your vehicle. Birds and animals are much more accepting of vehicles than they are of people.
- Keep your distance: Use binoculars, spotting scopes and telephoto lens. ‘Getting closer’ causes the subject to move away.
- Stay on trails: Straying off them not only damages or destroys sensitive habitat but infringes on the wildlife’s space.
- Respect your fellow viewing enthusiasts: Once you’ve had a chance to have a good look, move on.
- Walk slowly and speak quietly; Nothing can spook wildlife faster than someone running towards it shouting “look at the …….”
- Watch carefully – respect the ‘comfort zone’: all wildlife, including birds, have a ‘comfort zone’ which can vary dramatically depending on species, environment or previous experience. If you inadvertently infiltrate a comfort zone…stop and retreat until the subject relaxes.
- Diagonal rather than direct: If you must move closer to a subject, try a diagonal approach, it is perceived as being less of a threat.
- Teach your children all of the above: NEVER allow your children to throw rocks at, chase, run up to or try to catch wildlife.
- Pets: If you are attending an event where there are other viewers….leave your pet at home or in your vehicle.
- Be Patient: Wildlife doesn’t appear on demand. When possible, pick a likely spot and sit quietly…..you’ll be surprised at what might show up!