Backyard bird photographers: is your feeder killing birds?

PakkyT

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
4,148
Location
Massachusetts, USA
You need to read the law.

You need to get a sense of humor. That’s a joke, I say that’s a joke son.

Just like the labeling in California where it has been so overused and put on nearly everything that its intended effectiveness is now zero.


I'm not aware of studies linking cancer to bird feeders.

Me neither, but the joke is California had made it so EVERYTHING is now labeled as potentially cancer causing even when the companies labeling the product know it isn't, they now have to knit themselves an arse-hole cover to protect themselves, and yes this includes bird feeders...
https://www.acsh.org/news/2012/01/10/cancer-causing-bird-feeders
https://www.prettybird.com/ca-prop-65.html
https://www.kmart.com/woodstream-finch-tube-bird-feeder-outdoor-living-outdoor/p-SPM9466325017
 

demiro

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
3,239
Location
northeast US
Except in California where EVERYTHING now gives you cancer thanks to Prop 65.. I am sure birdseed and the feeders are now labeled as such.

It's easy to make a punchline out of prop 65, as it has gone a little outside the lines at times, but we should all thank our brothers and sisters from Cali for making a lot of consumer products safer for all Americans.
 

Will Focus

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
2,687
Location
Traverse City, Michigan USA

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
3,559
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
Apparently the Audubon Society thinks pictures are important.

https://www.google.com/search?q=aud...UbV80KHd9hCkoQ_AUoAXoECA4QAw&biw=1536&bih=754

I'm always amused by people and organizations that lecture others on the proper way to respect nature... while they put mint jelly on their lamb shanks.
No no, you misunderstand. Your pictures aren't important. They can't sell your pictures. Their pictures...now those are important.

Anyway, I've sorted out this whole bird feeder thing. I don't feed during the summer. I wait until the weather turns and start overfeeding to bring in as many birds as possible and keep them around. I keep that up until there's at least a foot of snow on the ground and food is scarce, then I yank the feeders inside with no warning!

It's hilarious watching the little buggers fall over from starvation...
 

Will Focus

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
2,687
Location
Traverse City, Michigan USA
It occurred to me that this is a photo site. Yet throughout this thread there is not one photo. This must change.

stretchlvlcrp.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

fortwodriver

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
1,183
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Frank
It's easy to make a punchline out of prop 65, as it has gone a little outside the lines at times, but we should all thank our brothers and sisters from Cali for making a lot of consumer products safer for all Americans.

Do some trees still get Prop 65 warnings? There has been talk about changing the way P65 is applied because its ubiquity has caused most 'fornians (and many others) to just ignore it, anyway.

I'm sure science has evolved since the late 80s enough to re-establish and re-focus labelling for that kind of thing.

But bird guano has been a known health hazard forever. New Yorkers know, that's for sure.

I've been thinking about getting a new bird-feeder for the house. Our Squirrel-safe feeder has been chewed up pretty well and it's due for replacement. What's everyone else here using?
 

PhotoCal

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
349
This birdpoop is a little confusing. Some of us (Americans) literally kill birds for fun. We call that "hunting", and say it's a hobby or sport or something. Others kill birds but at least also eat them. So that seems better, except for the bird. Still others (the majority of us, I think) eat farm-raised birds, most of which are treated despicably. Maybe they don't count because they're not so colorful and pretty?

I don't claim to speak for the birds, but I'm guessing that flash photography is way down on their list of grievances. Don't even get me started on windmills...

I don't agree that taking photos of wild animals does nothing to help them. I'm not suggesting it's the answer to all of their prayers or anything, but it does help raise awareness to some degree. A lot of the work that @Phocal has shared with us is a great example of that, though granted, he's not the backyard bird-feeder type photographer.


I agree that there is a lot of mixed messaging about respect for wildlife.

For instance, if you go to a wildlife refuge you'd be cited for harassing ducks.
But if you have permission (through a state license) you can, on that same refuge, kill ducks.

It's because of greed, selfishness and the belief that humans can do a better job of managing the earth than nature. We are proving that we can't.

I disagree about pictures "raising awareness". How? Do people not know birds exist? Did birds not exist before photography?

I'm sure images helped with conservation at some point (just as did Muir's descriptions and Adams' images helped create a desire to protect (and exploit) Yosemite.


No, your wonderful images do not do anything for the birds, especially if you are disrupting their behavior in taking the pictures.


Yes, birds and all wildlife face threats. I once read that wild animals have a 50 percent chance of death every day.

Why not do what we can to lessen those threats?

Or, are we ok with animals going extinct so we can have fancy feathers on our hats and nice images to generate likes online?
 

John King

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
2,674
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
You need to get a sense of humor. That’s a joke, I say that’s a joke son.

Just like the labeling in California where it has been so overused and put on nearly everything that its intended effectiveness is now zero.




Me neither, but the joke is California had made it so EVERYTHING is now labeled as potentially cancer causing even when the companies labeling the product know it isn't, they now have to knit themselves an arse-hole cover to protect themselves, and yes this includes bird feeders...
https://www.acsh.org/news/2012/01/10/cancer-causing-bird-feeders
https://www.prettybird.com/ca-prop-65.html
https://www.kmart.com/woodstream-finch-tube-bird-feeder-outdoor-living-outdoor/p-SPM9466325017
I just love the advertisements that state that product X does not contain ingredient Y, when ingredient Y has never been used in the production of that class of products.

Or the "no testing on animals" when the product was extensively tested on animals in 1850-1950, before such concerns even existed.

Greenies who have no understanding of actual conservation, science, or practically anything, FTM.

The list goes on, and on.
 

Phocal

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
6,027
Location
Mars
I said I wasn't going to respond but after sleeping on it....................................

It's because of greed, selfishness and the belief that humans can do a better job of managing the earth than nature. We are proving that we can't.

I disagree about pictures "raising awareness". How? Do people not know birds exist? Did birds not exist before photography?

I'm sure images helped with conservation at some point (just as did Muir's descriptions and Adams' images helped create a desire to protect (and exploit) Yosemite.

Ok, seriously?

You are telling everyone on this forum (some of us have been/are professional photographers for decades) that there is no chance for any image we create to be used in a way to bring awareness to wildlife? Yes, you specifically said bird but in this case wildlife is more applicable. For someone who has been a "professional photographer" for decades you sure have a very narrow view on the power of a photograph as well as the current market for photographs. Or is it that you just thinking all of us are below your level of professionalism?

I personally have been exclusive with Alamy since my film days and in those days stock photography could provide a very good income because there were few people with the gear to produce quality images. In the early days of digital the big stock agencies wouldn't accept digital images because the quality was just not there and film was still significantly better. But as digital began to approach the level of film the big agency started to accept some digital files and the cost of getting into photography significantly dropped. Eventually it dropped to the level where all the soccer moms could be on the sidelines with their camera and telephoto zoom. I could go on about how easier access to photography has impacted all genres of professional photography but I will leave that for another day.

As photography reached the hands of more and more people you started to see these micro stock sites pop up everywhere, some have survived but many have gone away and new ones appear all the time. These sites operate on the royalty free spectrum of stock photography and tend towards much lower image quality requirements, allowing just about every average photographer to get images on their site with the prospect of making some money. Granted the royalty free model only gives pennies for image use and has become a source for many people looking for images to use in a lot of different projects because it is so cheap.

I challenge anyone to go about their day and try to count the number of photographs they see in a given day. I am talking signs in stores, billboards, flyers, papers, magazines, the internet ads. I will bet it is in the 1000's every single day. Every time you notice something with a photograph because that photograph peaked your interest did you not just raise the awareness of whatever that ad or flyer or poster or article or brochure was about? Now think about all those flyers and posters and articles and ads that get created every day to bring awareness of this cause or that cause or this plight or that plight or to save this or save that and where do they get those images?

Those creators are looking for 1000's of images every day for variety of projects and they turn to stock agencies to find those images. The same stock agencies that anyone on this forum can submit and get accepted their photographs and yes, even photographs of wildlife. Yes, the big ad agencies and companies can and do hire photographers specifically for images but more and of them are moving to stock agencies. With most of the organizations working in wildlife/environmental awareness being smaller non-profits with small budgets for things like photos they really look to the micro stock agencies. Hell, a lot of them use Flickr and ask people if they can use the photo for credit given (another rant for another day).................I get these request all the time.

There are 1000's of small local organizations like "Friends of this park or that park" who regularly look to raise awareness about an issue in the park or about a particular species in the park. A flyer with just words is just that, words that most people will not take the time to read (face it, we have become a society of now). But photos have visual impact and if done correctly can take the place of thousands of words so a simple slogan can be used that people will remember and the only reason someone saw that slogan is because the image drew their eye to it. So some organization has their big annual clean up the bayous event and needs an image for their flyer and they turn to the stock agencies to find an image to use.

39035626775_7ed978ba79_o.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Tricolored Heron 011 - Final Edit that I printed by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Or maybe a local magazine is doing an article about a state park that is known for its gators.

38629235846_0670d00d53_o.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Gator 005 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Maybe a local zoo is looking for speakers at an Earth Day event and stumble upon a photographer who is bringing awareness to pollution of the waterways by printing amazing wildlife images on trash collected by the photographer. And maybe that event lead to additional speaking events on waterway pollution and a partnership to donate a portion of the proceeds to a local organization.

26700787777_b8ff91fd07_o.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
CA-02-3 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

There could also be some organization trying to bring awareness to the slaughter of 1000's of prairie dogs by ranchers because they claim the holes cause their livestock to break legs and cost them money and they need an image for the front of their brochure.

41637162911_55c85a7fd0_o.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Prairie Dog 002 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I typically don't know where most of my images are used. But I know where enough of them have been used to go on and on and on and on and on and on if I wanted. But I will stop before getting accused of a "testosterone-fest of images." But at times images are needed to show something or prove a point.

To think that an image can't be used to bring awareness to something is seriously delusional, it happens many times every single day. If that wasn't the case we would never see any photographs in any advertising or articles. With the advent of digital, micro stock sites, lower cost of photography gear...................anyone can have an image used to help bring awareness.

Seriously, get off your high horse and join us mere mortals in the real world. You talk down/at people like you are so much better than everyone else on this forum, that only your opinion matters, that you know everything about photography and wildlife because you have been a "professional photographer" for decades. Yet you didn't know that the contacts of a lens in no way contact the lens cap and setting a lens down with cap on and contacts down will not harm them at all or that the camera has the protruding pins (been this way as long as I have been in photography, which is over 30 years). Sure, there is no requirement to post photos but this is a photography forum and if you want people to take any advice from you with any kind of grain of salt than photos showing that you actually know what you are talking about will go along way. This is no different than taking the advice from someone who says they are a doctor but refuses to show their medical license, not going to happen.

have a great day,

Phocal
 

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
3,559
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
I said I wasn't going to respond but after sleeping on it....................................



Ok, seriously?

You are telling everyone on this forum (some of us have been/are professional photographers for decades) that there is no chance for any image we create to be used in a way to bring awareness to wildlife? Yes, you specifically said bird but in this case wildlife is more applicable. For someone who has been a "professional photographer" for decades you sure have a very narrow view on the power of a photograph as well as the current market for photographs. Or is it that you just thinking all of us are below your level of professionalism?

I personally have been exclusive with Alamy since my film days and in those days stock photography could provide a very good income because there were few people with the gear to produce quality images. In the early days of digital the big stock agencies wouldn't accept digital images because the quality was just not there and film was still significantly better. But as digital began to approach the level of film the big agency started to accept some digital files and the cost of getting into photography significantly dropped. Eventually it dropped to the level where all the soccer moms could be on the sidelines with their camera and telephoto zoom. I could go on about how easier access to photography has impacted all genres of professional photography but I will leave that for another day.

As photography reached the hands of more and more people you started to see these micro stock sites pop up everywhere, some have survived but many have gone away and new ones appear all the time. These sites operate on the royalty free spectrum of stock photography and tend towards much lower image quality requirements, allowing just about every average photographer to get images on their site with the prospect of making some money. Granted the royalty free model only gives pennies for image use and has become a source for many people looking for images to use in a lot of different projects because it is so cheap.

I challenge anyone to go about their day and try to count the number of photographs they see in a given day. I am talking signs in stores, billboards, flyers, papers, magazines, the internet ads. I will bet it is in the 1000's every single day. Every time you notice something with a photograph because that photograph peaked your interest did you not just raise the awareness of whatever that ad or flyer or poster or article or brochure was about? Now think about all those flyers and posters and articles and ads that get created every day to bring awareness of this cause or that cause or this plight or that plight or to save this or save that and where do they get those images?

Those creators are looking for 1000's of images every day for variety of projects and they turn to stock agencies to find those images. The same stock agencies that anyone on this forum can submit and get accepted their photographs and yes, even photographs of wildlife. Yes, the big ad agencies and companies can and do hire photographers specifically for images but more and of them are moving to stock agencies. With most of the organizations working in wildlife/environmental awareness being smaller non-profits with small budgets for things like photos they really look to the micro stock agencies. Hell, a lot of them use Flickr and ask people if they can use the photo for credit given (another rant for another day).................I get these request all the time.

There are 1000's of small local organizations like "Friends of this park or that park" who regularly look to raise awareness about an issue in the park or about a particular species in the park. A flyer with just words is just that, words that most people will not take the time to read (face it, we have become a society of now). But photos have visual impact and if done correctly can take the place of thousands of words so a simple slogan can be used that people will remember and the only reason someone saw that slogan is because the image drew their eye to it. So some organization has their big annual clean up the bayous event and needs an image for their flyer and they turn to the stock agencies to find an image to use.

View attachment 877752 Tricolored Heron 011 - Final Edit that I printed by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Or maybe a local magazine is doing an article about a state park that is known for its gators.

View attachment 877753 Gator 005 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Maybe a local zoo is looking for speakers at an Earth Day event and stumble upon a photographer who is bringing awareness to pollution of the waterways by printing amazing wildlife images on trash collected by the photographer. And maybe that event lead to additional speaking events on waterway pollution and a partnership to donate a portion of the proceeds to a local organization.

View attachment 877754 CA-02-3 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

There could also be some organization trying to bring awareness to the slaughter of 1000's of prairie dogs by ranchers because they claim the holes cause their livestock to break legs and cost them money and they need an image for the front of their brochure.

View attachment 877755 Prairie Dog 002 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I typically don't know where most of my images are used. But I know where enough of them have been used to go on and on and on and on and on and on if I wanted. But I will stop before getting accused of a "testosterone-fest of images." But at times images are needed to show something or prove a point.

To think that an image can't be used to bring awareness to something is seriously delusional, it happens many times every single day. If that wasn't the case we would never see any photographs in any advertising or articles. With the advent of digital, micro stock sites, lower cost of photography gear...................anyone can have an image used to help bring awareness.

Seriously, get off your high horse and join us mere mortals in the real world. You talk down/at people like you are so much better than everyone else on this forum, that only your opinion matters, that you know everything about photography and wildlife because you have been a "professional photographer" for decades. Yet you didn't know that the contacts of a lens in no way contact the lens cap and setting a lens down with cap on and contacts down will not harm them at all or that the camera has the protruding pins (been this way as long as I have been in photography, which is over 30 years). Sure, there is no requirement to post photos but this is a photography forum and if you want people to take any advice from you with any kind of grain of salt than photos showing that you actually know what you are talking about will go along way. This is no different than taking the advice from someone who says they are a doctor but refuses to show their medical license, not going to happen.

have a great day,

Phocal
Pretty sure he has you on ignore, probably me too. Unlikely he'll make the effort but a nice writeup nonetheless.
 
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
1,393
We humans have cats for pets. Cats kill a lot of birds. We put up wind turbines, glass skyscrapers, and those kill birds too. Our farms use pesticides that have decimated 40-50% of all insect species and that has also sadly resulted in tremendous bird losses.

We own this planet. We are the dominant species. It's ours to improve or destroy, and these days with 30% of all species under threat of extinction, more plastic in the ocean than fish, and 415ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere it looks like we are doing our best to destroy it.

Phocal is right. We should be doing EVERYTHING we can to protect biodiversity on our planet... before it is all gone.
 

Phil.H

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
1,716
Location
Uk
I might have shared this story before but this thread is the perfect place to share again.

When my wife gets up in the morning she usually has a wander around the garden while waiting for the kettle to boil. I was sat in the lounge when she started to yell at me that there was a dead bird in the feeder, I went out and sure enough there was a sparrow hanging out of one of the feeders.
It was one of the wire feeders with suet balls in, obviously what had happened was as the bird had its head in the feeder the suet balls dropped on its head and trapped it.
As it happens the bird wasn't dead at all because the little begger bit my finger when I rescued it (there's gratitude for ya).

Since then I only put one suet ball in there to protect the stupid ones from getting stuck :)
 

John King

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
2,674
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
We humans have cats for pets. Cats kill a lot of birds. We put up wind turbines, glass skyscrapers, and those kill birds too. Our farms use pesticides that have decimated 40-50% of all insect species and that has also sadly resulted in tremendous bird losses.

We own this planet. We are the dominant species. It's ours to improve or destroy, and these days with 30% of all species under threat of extinction, more plastic in the ocean than fish, and 415ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere it looks like we are doing our best to destroy it.

Phocal is right. We should be doing EVERYTHING we can to protect biodiversity on our planet... before it is all gone.
I agree, Steve.

Our cats are never allowed out without supervision and a harness.

Like the dingo, cane toads and rabbits, cats are an introduced species here. I've shot a lot of feral cats out in the bush ...

The greatest mass extinction of small birds and mammals this continent has seen in modern times occurred about 5,000 years ago, when us humans brought the dingo here. It's only gone downhill since then!
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom