Bird Watching Apps Raise Ethical Debate

Should birdwatchers be able to use bird call apps? The question has caused a debate among birders.

Using apps like Chirp! Bird Songs USA, birdwatchers can instantly access an archive of countless bird sounds–getting very close to their subjects. National Geographic Daily News has more:

The trouble is, there’s a slippery slope leading toward harassment of rare and/or endangered birds and, in the worst case, genuine interference with their nesting success. And the slope got a lot steeper with the proliferation of smartphones and birdsong apps … a number of bad things could happen when a birder plays a song to attract a bird. Momentarily distracted, the bird could be snatched up by a predatory hawk (this has been witnessed a number of times by distraught birders).

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