MVBC Code of Ethics

Club Mission: The club’s mission is to promote respectful bird watching, education about birds and the ecosystems they inhabit, and to build community among and between birders.

This code promotes responsible and respectful birdwatching for all involved, human and avian alike. It seeks to create a friendly, fun, safe, and accessible environment for birders of all levels and abilities.

All club members are encouraged to…

  1. Respect and ensure the health and safety of birds and their environment

(a) Support the conservation of birds and their habitats. 

  • Practice and promote behavior that is bird-friendly 
    • Keep pets or other domestic animals that could harm birds indoors or controlled
    • Prevent window strikes at homes or businesses 
    • Feed birds safely and responsibly 
    • Landscape with native plants
    • Support land conservation efforts
    • Preserve natural features that benefit birds such as dead standing trees or fallen leaves
    • Educate the public on all of the above
    • Utilize marked trails when birding to minimize habitat disturbance or destruction 

(b) Be mindful of stressing birds or exposing them to danger. The bird’s health and safety always come first.

  •  Minimize disturbance around active nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display sites, or important feeding sites. 
  • Use playback or audio recordings to attract birds judiciously. See more guidelines here: (https://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/04/the-proper-use-of-playback-in-birding/)
  • Use restraint when photographing or approaching birds. Always be aware of how your presence is impacting the bird’s behavior. If a bird seems stressed or agitated, give it space.
  • For the preservation of imperiled species, do not share specific locations of sensitive species on open social media groups or other public broadcasting platforms. 
  1. Provide a safe and welcoming environment for all 

(a) Follow the Code and promote it to other members, especially if you are a walk leader.

(b) Be respectful of the neighborhoods in which you are birding and others recreating in the area.

  • Many areas we bird are also utilized by a variety of recreationalists. Share the property with others and be cognizant of their recreational enjoyment as well as your own.
  • Do not encroach on private areas and respect the privacy of abutting landowners.

(c) Encourage learning and respect birders of all skill levels, races, sexual orientations, creeds, and abilities. Be eager to share knowledge and be kind when correcting sightings. 

(d) Be honest when reporting sightings to other birders or databases.

(d) Attempt to resolve Code violations amicably and with empathy. Any instances of unethical behavior should be used as a teaching moment- educate, don’t reprimand. You are always welcome to bring concerns about unethical behavior to club leadership. 

  1. Respect the law

(a) Do not enter private property without clear permission from the landowner.

(b) Be aware of regulations and laws pertaining to birds or their habitat wherever you are birding. 

  • Follow property rules or regulations. 
  • Be aware of State of Federal laws regarding birds and their habitats.