A Young Birder's Photographs are featured, Chasing Rarities is good for the economy & Unchecked hunting in Tunisia is decimating bird populations

An interesting news story worth a read on the positive effects that "twitching" has on the local economy can be found HERE. Twitchers may burn gas to go see birds, which isn't great for the environment but compared to a lot of other hobbies; our ecological footprint is small. Also most birders put a lot of money into conservation and eco-tourism to help local populations. To read an in depth research paper on the topic of the economic benefits of "vagrant chasers", click HERE.

To read about yet another country that is allowing large-scale unchecked hunting (with no set limits on numbers of birds taken) of common and endangered species click HERE. This has become a huge problem in the Mediterranean, in Western Europe and Asia. The time to end this absurdity is now before we lose whole bird populations. The lucky birds that are caught are shot quickly, others are trapped in nets or glued in distressing manners before being killed. They suffer enough hardship already, as they stop at migratory grounds that are shrinking, polluted and have a loss of food due to climate change and industrialized agriculture. They don't need to be wasted in such a manner. Hunting non-endangered food for subsistence as the Inuit do, is one very necessary thing but this in contrast, is a level of barbarism. You can read this recent article about hunting endangered birds in Cyprus HERE and Lebanon HERE. Similar ones can be found from Holland HERE.  This is in addition to birds and owls taken for Asian medicine or for owls to be displayed in "owl cafes" , where nocturnal owls are petted all day in Asia. Not to mention the illegal capture of parrots and other exotics for the worldwide pet trade.

For all of these reasons, eBird has chosen to hide endangered birds all over the world; especially in those countries where bird poaching is rampant. Illegal poaching is not limited to birds but large game as well. Soon we may no longer be able to see Rhinos or Tigers in the wild and we will have no one to blame except ourselves. Recently a man in South Africa who was poaching lions on a reserve was killed by a gang of lions. It is a fitting payback to the brutal practice.

It is high time for the world to wake up, as it should fully do to climate change and in the US to the banning of assault rifles. It is time that we demand an end to many things like the bear gall bladder farms in Asia and the horrible conditions of confinement and slaughter of dogs in Asia including in Seoul, Korea, where the Olympics are being held right now.

There are several anti-poaching groups around the world trying to end the illegal hunting of birds in Lebanon and France where they kill the Ortolan bunting. Several migratory bird acts are being broken every day.

Some of those anti-poaching groups can be found HERE, HEREHERE, HERE and HERE.

This article "Can anti-poaching activism save 25 million birds a year?" is great food for thought, that I hope spurs you into action. If we don't try they really won't have a chance. It may be an uphill battle but we must speak out and fight for the voiceless. If we do try and are successful we can save millions of birds lives, it's worth the effort for that alone. We need to be donating to bird conservation organizations that are combating poaching, donating to bird habitat restoration efforts and writing our MP's and demanding change, so that Canada puts pressure on other countries around the world to stop poaching and turn to eco-tourism instead.

If we don't fight for the voiceless birds, who will?

On a happy note...Young Birder Liron Gertsman was chosen as the featured photographer for this month's featured photographer for the British Columbia Field Ornithologists Association.

What a great choice! You can read about and look at this talented 17 year old's bird photographs HERE.


  1. Great post, thanks for sharing.
    Congrats to Liron!!! His photos are amazing!


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