Responsible Bird Photography

Showing consideration for nature and birds

Due to digitalisation in the field of photography, bird photography is experiencing a revival, increasing the number of outstanding photographs of birds. However, the most attractive photograph is of no value if it has been taken at the cost of a bird or its habitat.
Considering a few simple rules of conduct, we take care of and support the concerns of animal and habitat conservation.
Thank you very much for your understanding and consideration for nature and birds!

Code of Conduct

When photographing birds, their welfare and the conservation of their habitats, including other animal and plant species living within them, have absolute priority.

Species Conservation

  • Minimize disturbances to birds. Please keep your distance, and bear in mind that birds react negatively to disturbances long before they take flight.
  • Birds at or near a nest are particularly prone to disturbances and in extreme cases may even abandon their young. Therefore, it is particularly important not to disturb birds that are breeding or feeding at a nest. If birds sound alarm calls or show signs of agitation, you are probably too close to a nest or the young.
  • Do not disturb birds by mimicking calls or song. Imitating the presence of a rival or a source of danger causes unnecessary stress to birds, especially during breeding season. Avoid making noise.
  • Do not use flash when photographing birds to avoid startling them.
  • Disturbances are especially serious in winter, when it is vital for birds to conserve energy. Causing birds to take flight depletes their energy reserves and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Do not use drones for photography.
  • Always adhere to legal requirements for the conservation of species.
  • Many nature reserves have public hides from which you can photograph birds in their natural environment without disturbing them.
  • When feeding birds in winter, make sure that the food is appropriate for the species, that the offered food cannot be soiled by droppings or get wet. If dead birds are found near the feeding site, feeding must be stopped immediately. After thorough cleaning, feeding should only be resumed within 2–3 days.
  • If you have a birdbath, remember to keep it clean. Clean the birdbath and renew the water regularly.

Conservation of the Area

  • Always adhere to legal requirements for the conservation of habitats and especially to the rules of nature reserves.
  • Pay attention to no driving signs and do not obstruct paths with your vehicle.
  • Respect the rights of landowners by using public roads, paths and trails.
  • If you pitch a camouflage tent, ask the landowner for permission. Follow the code of conduct.

Role Model

  • Respect the rights of others performing their activities and work in nature.
  • When travelling or on holiday, behave just as respectfully towards nature as you would do at home.
  • Be an example to others with your responsible behaviour. Please politely point out to others their possible misbehaviour.