Information provided by the American Birding Association (ABA)

Everyone who loves birding must always respect wildlife, their environment, and the rights of everyone. The welfare of birds and their environment is a priority!

1) Promote the welfare of birds and their environment

  • Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds.
  • Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, and take advantage of natural cover.
  • Do not use artificial light when recording or taking photos.
  • Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area.
  • Stay on roads, trails, and paths.
Code of Birding Ethics
Code of Birding Ethics 4

2) Respect the law, and the rights of others

  • Do not enter private property without permission.
  • Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad.
  • Be kind and respect others.

3) Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe

  • Keep dispensers, water, and food clean.
  • Ensure that birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals.

4) Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care

  • Be especially helpful to beginning birders.
  • If you witness unethical birding behavior, evaluate the situation and intervene if you think it prudent.

5) Group leader responsibilities

  • Be an ethical role model for your group.
  • Try to keep your groups to a size that limits impact on the environment and does not interfere with others using the same area.
  • Ensure everyone in the group knows of and practices this code.
  • Keep track of tour sightings and submit records to appropriate organizations.

This text is an adaptation of the American Birding Association’s Code of Birding Ethics. See the full version in English and Spanish at

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