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Code of Conduct

1. Respect and promote birds and their environment

(a) Support the conservation of birds and their habitats. Be mindful of any negative environmental impacts of your activities, including contributing to climate change. Reduce or offset such impacts as much as you are able. Carpooling will be implemented as much as possible during GyrKite Birding Tours. Those who are able are strongly encouraged to donate to the conservation areas visited with GyrKite Birding Tours. 

(b) Avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger. Be particularly cautious around active nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display sites, and feeding sites. The use of recordings and other audio methods of attracting birds will be little to none, particularly in heavily birded areas, for species that are rare in the area, and for species that are threatened or endangered. Always exercise caution and restraint when photographing, recording, or otherwise approaching birds. 

(c) Always minimize habitat disturbance. Consider the benefits of staying on trails, preserving snags, and similar practices. GyrKite Birding Tours will always remain on well kept trails while never straying into the bush or damaging sensitive ecosystems. 

An American Tree Sparrow in autumn perched on a branch, looking over its shoulder at the camera

2. Respect and promote the birding community and its individual members

(a) Be an exemplary ethical role model by following this Code and leading by example. Any birds reported by GyrKite Birding Tours will be done with honesty and integrity. 

(b) Respect the interests, rights, and skill levels of fellow birders, as well as all people participating in other outdoor activities. Freely share your knowledge and experience and be especially helpful to beginning birders. GyrKite Birding Tours strives to be an accepting space for all peoples of different skill levels, nationalities, religions, ethnicities, sex, gender, or age. 

(c) Share bird observations freely, provided such reporting would not violate other sections of this Code, as birders, ornithologists, and conservationists derive considerable benefit from publicly available bird sightings. All bird sightings seen by GyrKite Birding Tours will be reported to eBird, a public database, provided that it is ethical to do so.


(d) Approach instances of perceived unethical birding behaviour with sensitivity and respect; try to resolve the matter in a positive manner, keeping in mind that perspectives vary. Use the situation as an opportunity to teach by example and to introduce more people to this Code. Unethical behaviour, either towards people or birds, will be addressed and dealt with in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Discrimination of peoples due to beliefs, skin colour, sex, or gender will not be tolerated.

(e) In group birding situations, promote knowledge by everyone in the group of the practices in this Code and ensure that the group does not unduly interfere with others using the same environment.

A White-breasted Nuthatch clinging to the side of a dark branch in winter, looking sharply towards the right

3. Respect and promote the law and the rights of others.

(a) Never enter private property without the landowner’s permission. Respect the interests of and interact positively with people living in the area where you are birding. GyrKite Birding Tours will operate on land available to the public as well as previously approved private land. 

(b) Familiarize yourself with and follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing activities at your birding location. In particular, be aware of regulations related to birds, such as disturbance of protected nesting areas or sensitive habitats, and the use of audio or food lures. GyrKite Birding Tours is operating in Ontario, Canada as of 2024. All regulations regarding the protection of wildlife in their natural habitats will be followed accordingly. 


Link to Migratory Birds Convention Act

Link to Species at Risk Act

Link to Canada Wildlife Act

A a close-up shot of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak with outstretched wings in flight.
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