Is getting “too close for comfort” a thing for birds? Yes totally! And if you look and listen, they even tell you when.
It was such a bright and luminous day and the perfect day to go a nearby beach, observe some of our protected birds and take some snaps for one of our coming etiquettes. Then a couple of terns scolded us…
This is an illustration of the ‘Keep your Distance / Back off’ rule. When we’re annoyed because someone is in our face, we expect the person to move away when we say so or when we show stress. Well… birds expect the same courtesy. It is as simple as that ツ
Although we were way off the limits of the designated protected bird habitat, we were still (un-intendedly) too close. The giveaway? the posture, its alertness and the ‘mocked’ dive bombing that followed soon after we spotted this little guy (a least tern). If we were anthropomorphizing, we’d be tempted to say that–right at this moment–on this pic– he simply looks bullish and ready to give us a piece of his mind if we persist in our reckless behavior. We just moved out of the way…
A thing to keep in mind when birding: a designated area keeps us humans at a minimum distance but not at an optimal distance from wildlife. Give an extra buffer distance between you and the bird (even more so when it is a nesting area); watch the posture of the bird; and if there is any change in its activity, please retreat –the bird is experiencing stress.
Observing bird behavior is one of the many pleasures of birding. Each species has its own quirks of feeding, flight, and social interaction, and seeing a bird engage in these natural behaviors gives the burgeoning birder a better understanding of the species beyond just field marks and identification points.
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