[CT Birds] Nesting birds question

David Provencher davidprovencher at sbcglobal.net
Fri Apr 20 22:51:46 EDT 2007

Jan your question is a very good one and deserves discussion, thank you for
raising it. Many birders are understandably unaware of the concern about
nest location info being published.


The issue isn't discussing the nesting locations of all species but rather
the locations of particular species. The concerns are varied and also at
times contentious. I do not in any way wish to preach my feelings in this
note and indeed I hope I do not even reveal them. Having said that, here are
just some of the historical concerns, without a debate about their validity.


Egg collectors (much less common now than historically but it still occurs)
may harvest the eggs. Some people fear falconers may take young raptors for
their sport. Too many birders visiting a nest site may stress rare or
uncommon nesters and unintentionally cause nesting failure. Too much human
activity at a nest location may attract predators, such as raccoons, that
will then raid the nest. There are other concerns that have been voiced as


Usually only rare to uncommon nesters, raptors and owls, or disturbance
sensitive species, garner concern. No one is going to care a great deal if
you mention the location of a Black-capped Chickadee nest. But concern will
be voiced if you describe the location of a Long-eared Owl nest. Some nest
sites are protected by an organized effort, such as Piping Plovers or Least
Terns, and the locations of these nests are generally not kept secret. Any
specific info concerning nesting species under protection of specific law,
such as endangered species, should be handled with prudence for obvious
legal reasons if no other. 


Really the bottom line is to try and use discretion when discussing nesting
birds in an open forum. There has always been a good deal of debate on this
issue, one way or another, and I suspect there always will. The one opinion
I will voice is that the generous people who do the work bringing this
discussion forum to the CT birding community have the right to set rules and
standards for the forum they have created. If specific rules and standards
are forth-coming (and Roy has already posted some guidance just a few
moments ago), on how nesting information will be treated in this forum we
should graciously abide by them. As a former president of COA I know very
well how much time and energy it takes to do things like this forum and the
women and men who volunteer to undertake these tasks are to be highly
commended. and appreciated!


Dave Provencher







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