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If you see a Cowbird do its thing in another bird's nest...


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#1 horseface

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:01 PM

say, a Carolina Wren's, is it ethical as a birder to go in and destroy the cowbird eggs, or should I just leave it alone?

#2 spyonabird

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

legally you have to leave it there. A Cowbird is a native species and protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty. I'm not sure if this law is also valid in Canada. As far as ethical, everyone has their own code of conduct. If you see a snake attacking a frog, do you save the frog or deprive the snake of dinner. What if it was a Hawk attacking a frog. Save the frog?
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#3 horseface

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:14 PM

Yeah I know it's illegal. It's a question of ethics. I probably won't do anything but I hate cowbirds and the sparrows and starlings have been really bothersome lately. If it weren't for the crapload of sparrows and starlings already terrorizing everything in the area I wouldn't even consider it.

#4 EmilyRose

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:45 PM

I agree with Spy. While I think obeying conservation law is an implicit tenet of birding ethics, I think canons 1 & 2 of the ABA Principles would support never interfering with a non-invasive's nest, even if it is engaging in brood parasitism.
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#5 NatureLady

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:24 PM

Agree with Spy. I myself could never harm a innocent baby chick; even if it is an a wren nest or even a hummingbird nest. Its part of nature. Sometimes beautiful and other times not so much.

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#6 horseface

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:32 PM

Yeah I thought this would be the replies but was just making sure. I should concentrate my efforts on wiping out all starlings and sparrows.

#7 birdbrain22

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:04 PM

Ethics wise, I would not do anything to the cowbird.

If I would have witnessed the below(follow the link), if possible I would have tried to do something. I mean it is a Phalarope. This took place at one of the great migrant traps in NJ (Garret Mountain).

http://birdingonthe....html#1336167123

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#8 meghann

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:25 PM

Man, I don't think I would have had the stomach to stand there and take pictures. I had a hard enough time photographing a dragonfly eating a butterfly.

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#9 JimBob

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:53 AM

That's so sad!

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#10 BarnSwallow

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:39 PM

That must be one scary-big bullfrog!!!

#11 JimBob

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:07 PM

That must be one scary-big bullfrog!!!


I've caught some HUGE bullfrogs before. One I caught was about 16" from nose to toe when legs were extended. They're really fun to catch!

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