Ethical birding with Vietnam Birding

Vietnam Birding is an ethical birding company and we strictly follow our code of ethics and ask that our clients do so too and do not pressure our guides or drivers to do otherwise.

The most wanted birds for birders visiting Vietnam are often those rare, endemic and globally threatened species that are the most sensitive to disturbance so it especially important that our code of ethics is followed by all.

The Vietnam Birding ethical code
Bird photography

Bird photography is becoming increasingly popular nowadays, and nowhere more so than in Asia, where the numbers of bird photographers far exceeds that of birdwatchers.

Everyone loves to see a beautiful bird captured in a photograph and especially when it is a wild bird doing what it does naturally in its natural habitat. However in these social media obsessed times, bird photography has become highly competitive and birding ethics and the welfare of the subject are often forgotten in the race to stay ahead of rivals and post that perfect photo.

We are not opposed to bird photography, and indeed, many of our clients do take wonderful photos on our tours. However, we do not support the use of unethical practices for the purpose of taking photographs.

The use of photographic hides/blinds and the setting-up of artificial baiting/feeding stations are two practices that are now very common among bird photographers. Unfortunately, the construction of hides/blinds often involves habitat modification and disturbance while the artificial feeding of birds increases dependency on unnatural foods and increase the risk of predation at feeding sites. In Vietnam, predation comes not only from natural predators but also from human predators trapping for the lucrative cage bird trade or, in the case of some species, for the dinner table. Trapping at hides/blinds and baiting/feeding stations in Vietnam has already resulted in the local extirpation of endemic bird species at several locations, most notably Orange-breasted Laughingthrush.

While there's no denying that the images captured of birds from hides at feeding stations are often stunning, we may question whether photographing habituated birds eating mealworms from a cleared patch of forest can really be called birding.