Sunday, December 20, 2009

Large Niltava and use of Bird Sound

This was my LIFER and target bird for last Friday birding at Fraser's Hill.
My method of bird photography is very simple, walk slowly on a trail and watch for any bird that perch on the branches, but frequently the birds fly away when I stumble upon it.
I never used bird song to lure the bird into view, except this one. The bird was photographed with the help of MP3 song that I downloaded from Xeno-canto Asia.
Download the mp3 file into my iPod nano and attached it to a small portable speaker (Altec Lansing iM207 Orbit).

I heard the song of this Niltava at Maybank Lodge's front gate and played the iPod. The bird called back and suddenly landed on the electric cable. Perched there for a few second, just enough for me to shoot a few frames.
 Than I saw the male perched on a dead ginger plant a few feet away.

The use of of bird sound is frowned upon and discourage. I don't think I distress this bird for about three minute playback and nine minutes of photography. This Niltava is not in endangered or rare, and December is not a breeding season.
There is a lot of discussion in the bird forum about the ethics of using bird sound playback in birding and photographic. In my opinion, limited use that do not repeatedly loop back the song for a long duration with non endangered bird is okay.
In Malaysia, I don't think this will threaten the common bird, but logging, forest clearing and bird poachers are the main culprit.

Large Niltava - female)

Large Niltava (Niltava grandis) -female

Large Niltava (Niltava grandis)- male

male species

Large Niltava (Niltava grandis) -male

Click for the Song (taken from Xeno-canto Asia; recorded by Nick Athanas)

iPod Nano with Potrable Speaker
iPod Nano 3rd generation silver 2GB with protective cover and Altec Lansing iM207 Orbit Portable Speaker
Bird Song Hardware
Have a look for more bird pictures at the Bird Photography Weekly @ Birdfreak.


rainfield61 said...

Bird watching involves some high technologies. This fun, but I do not think this will cause harm to them.

BirdLover said...

I think the female bird was under stress. Look at that beak - pointed upward, and the posture, listening to your playback music.
I searched the Malaysia forum and found the more stressful postures like this and this.
Please use bird playback MP3 with caution. Bird safety and their wellfare is the priority.

BirdLover - Not photographer but birdwatcher

terence said...

Your photo look like you are shooting in a very dark place. Was it dark?

Tabib said...

Yes, dark, cloudy and misty.
The birds was quite far, about 30 feet away. I have to push up the exposure at the post processing, despite already in ISO 1600 setting.

By 9.00am it started to rain, and I have to pack my gear and went down the hillstation at 10.00am. So it was very short 2+ hours outing.

NicoleB said...

Beautiful pics for the circumstances.
Be careful with the use of the bird song, but I guess you are.

mick said...

Nice photos.

Kelly said...

...lovely photos. I went on a bird hike earlier this spring with a group at the nature center and one of the guys had bird calls on his iPhone. He was able to call a Prairie Warbler in. It's interesting technology...

Larry said...

I think the female Large Niltava is more beautiful than the male! Great shot of her Tabib!

As far as the playing of the bird call, I don't think it is a problem as long as it is not near breeding season and is only played for a short duration.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Congratulations on your lifer, Tabib - great photos, too!
I also think it is OK to use song playback as long as it is not breeding season and if used only for a short time.

Shady Character said...

Congratulations on your lifer. It's a lovely bird, especially that blue on the neck in the first photo. I can't comment on the ethics of playing sound to attract birds but I am coming at it from the other side. I've undertaken trying to record bird song in the wild. It's not as easy as I thought it would be.

Wren said...

I agree with larry - the colors in the female are more interesting. But they are both striking birds. Congratulations on your lifer!

Phil said...

I think your last paragraph sums the real wrongs. Here in the UK bird ringers can use tape lures, but strictly not in the breeding season. having said that many bird watchers use tape lures, especially to see rarities and if they think they are not being observed.