Birding Ethics and Guiding Ethos

As a point of departure, Indwa Birding subscribes to Birdlife SA’s Code of Ethics for responsible birding behaviour. Although the complete Code of Ethics is available on Birdlife SA’s website at www.birdlife.org.za, in brief, the following principles are adhered to:

Approaching, observing and photographing birds with the least possible disturbance to them and their habitat, especially when in particularly fragile environments or when birds are nesting, or during breeding season.

   

Minimal use of playback, and only in a judicious and sensitive manner. Indwa Birding is aware that the use of playback in order to attract birds is a particularly sensitive issue in birding circles at present - while it is felt that playback is over-utilised in South Africa in general, it is also recognised that certain alternatives to playback can have potentially far more detrimental effects on specific bird populations and habitats (such as indiscriminately trampling through fragile, nested areas in order to get a better view, or repeatedly flushing a “difficult” skulker).

   

Respect for the rights of others, especially private landowners: inter alia where birding outings are conducted on private land, permission will be obtained from the relevant landowner beforehand.

   

Respect for the environment: we’ll strive at all times to minimise the size of our ecological footprint in all circumstances, and shall furthermore attempt to leave any habitat as we found it. As far as possible, we’ll remain on existing roads, trails and paths and shall always attempt to avoid trampling or otherwise disturbing fragile habitat.

   
In addition, Indwa Birding recognises that eco-tourism in general, and bird guiding in particular, have no future in South Africa (or indeed, anywhere in the world) without the “buy in” of local communities and local land-owners. With this in mind, Indwa Birding supports Birdlife SA’s initiatives to promote environmental awareness in local communities through inter alia the training of local bird guides, the support of these guides and the ongoing development of their skills. Indwa Birding will therefore regularly make use of local guides’ services which we acknowledge as frequently being invaluable in helping to track down some of the more elusive species in “off the beaten track” areas.
 

The nomadic Temminck's Courser prefers areas of short grass and, like many coursers, recently burned patches of grassland.
 
The male African Paradise-Flycatcher in breeding plumage.
 
By some distance the largest Kingfisher in the region, the Giant Kingfisher's size alone makes confusion with other species impossible.
 
The Red-crested Korhaan, seen here performing it's distinctive "bill-clicking" call is a common bushveld resident.
 
The critically endangered and highly localised Rudd's Lark can best be seen by visiting the scenic area around Wakkerstroom.