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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Miserable Birders??? (1 Viewer)

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Surprised at the list from the West Indies, wonder why. Also, the interpretation of what is deemed camouflage these days with the various cryptic designs.
 

stuartvine

Well-known member
Why is it 'strange'?

Durable, practical, outdoor clothing which doesn't look dirty too quickly (essential on long, foreign trips), is discreet against a multitude of backgrounds. Don't see the issue myself, unless you've met people in body armour with night vision goggles?

Look at the various shirts and hats which are sold by some bird clubs, most are designed and influenced by what you describe as 'camo' wear.
Re the body armour, not quite, (although chuck a gilet over the top and you can achieve a very similar look) but I've seen people dressed like they're survivalists (usually minus the weaponry). The night vision goggles would be pretty good for nocturnal birding though! Personally I find ultra fast drying outdoor gear the best thing for foreign trips. Anything that will dry overnight in the room or tent.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I wonder if anyone has ever done a study showing how much more effective camo is in birding vs just avoiding wearing bright colors? I feel like knowledge and field craft is going to be more important than the patterning of your clothes 90% of the time, especially in birding.
 

skatebirder

Well-known member
On my daily birding walk I sometimes wear subdued green clothes, sometimes I wear a bright orange teeshirt or a dayglo cycling jacket. It doesn't seem to make any difference to the number of birds I see.
 

jurek

Well-known member
People who dress in cammo and block hides and outdoor spaces for long periods are photographers. They are annoying indeed. Perhaps the best response is to shame the most annoying types on local forums. They need good publicity to sell their photos. Or at least get them likes how wonderful their 100000000th shot of a heron from a super-close distance is.

No, cammo is not effective when you are moving. It is better only if you sit absolutely still. For a birder, most effective is easily cleaned outdoor clothing in dull gray, green or brown colors.

By the way, I often wondered why few wild animals are colored like a typical military camo pattern? And whether a pattern similar to many wild animals - strategically placed lines or rows of spots - would be a better camouflage, because it disguises movement?
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
By the way, I often wondered why few wild animals are colored like a typical military camo pattern? And whether a pattern similar to many wild animals - strategically placed lines or rows of spots - would be a better camouflage, because it disguises movement?
Such clothing is readily available for women, but I don't think it would be a good idea to go birding dressed like that...
 

stuartvine

Well-known member
I wonder if anyone has ever done a study showing how much more effective camo is in birding vs just avoiding wearing bright colors? I feel like knowledge and field craft is going to be more important than the patterning of your clothes 90% of the time, especially in birding.
I've wondered that, especially as birds can see into the ultra-violet spectrum. Staying still or moving very slowly and quietly are possibly more effective. However - "Camouflage Clothing for Birders: Some avid bird-watchers are reconsidering their fashion choices now that they know birds see in the UV. Many modern clothing dyes reflect UV, as do the “brightening” agents in some detergents. Today birders can choose from a variety of sprayable fabric treatments that will make their favorite jackets less showy as the clothing absorbs (rather than reflects) UV wavelengths." - True Colors: How Birds See the World
 

MalR

Well-known member
I always smile at old black and white photographs of birders (or birdwatchers, as they were back then) and photographers dressed in shirt and tie, tweed sports jacket and corduroys, perhaps with a nice wooly jumper if it was a bit nippy. I wonder how they managed.;)

Malcolm
 

jurek

Well-known member
Such clothing is readily available for women, but I don't think it would be a good idea to go birding dressed like that...

You mean spotted like a leopard? :)

Actually, when you look at a leopard or large forest raptors, like harpy eagle, then from the business end, from the front, they are whitish with irregular blotches. Possibly a human shape would be also better broken if it was pale with patches - note that a man is much taller than most animals, and a bird on the ground sees us towering against the sky on a background of some vegetation.

Lines on sleeves could disguise the movement of walking or raising bins to the eyes - the latter movement certainly scares the birds.

Military camouflage has been tested in military situations, to hide immobile soldiers at a large distance. It is proven to be ineffective when a soldier is moving. It is also not that well replicating the situation of a birder, who usually watches wildlife from much shorter distance.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
You mean spotted like a leopard? :)

Actually, when you look at a leopard or large forest raptors, like harpy eagle, then from the business end, from the front, they are whitish with irregular blotches. Possibly a human shape would be also better broken if it was pale with patches - note that a man is much taller than most animals, and a bird on the ground sees us towering against the sky on a background of some vegetation.

Lines on sleeves could disguise the movement of walking or raising bins to the eyes - the latter movement certainly scares the birds.

Military camouflage has been tested in military situations, to hide immobile soldiers at a large distance. It is proven to be ineffective when a soldier is moving. It is also not that well replicating the situation of a birder, who usually watches wildlife from much shorter distance.
Not to mention that most birders are usually moving around, when it comes to birding in the habitats where you think camouflage would be most useful
 
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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Military camouflage has been tested in military situations, to hide immobile soldiers at a large distance. It is proven to be ineffective when a soldier is moving. It is also not that well replicating the situation of a birder, who usually watches wildlife from much shorter distance.
But it works if you stay still unless the soldiers are wearing jungle camo. when patrolling barren, desert landscapes - or Arctic white in an urban guerilla situation. It's all about the scenario surely - to blend into the background.
 
There are quite a few local patches where I live - Liverpool/Merseyside - and there are also lots of RSPB sites too so I have seen all forms of birding behaviour and I'm not talking about the birds!

I think I've mentioned before that I've been told (politely) by 'locals' not to mention or report to other bird groups if I've seen something rare at a particular place as 'we don't want loads of people clumping around here and being a nuisance' - and here's me thinking it's all about the birds and sharing that experience with others.

I've also bore witness to the 'it's on the whatsapp group' and only to be answered again with the same message when pointing out that I'm not in that whatsapp group that 'it's on the whatsapp group' - a bit like the Spinal Tap 'this goes up to eleven' scene.

Once when entering a hide, I sat right in the middle of a bench, with a great view, only to be looked at as if I had just sat on a White-Throated Robin while taking my seat. There was much mumbling and grumbling and before too long a large man appeared fully dressed for birding, or desert warfare one or the other, and he looked at me and stood there not knowing what to do.

I said to him 'you okay? seen anything good?' and he quietly replied 'you going to be there long?'. The penny suddenly dropped and I realised that this was his 'space' so being the good guy that I am I replied 'I'm here for the day' :LOL:

The tension in the hide became palpable and I could feel the vibrations as the nails loosened from the wood as the hide started to break apart like
Mount Vesuvius was erupting nearby and I made my leave and smiled and said to everyone 'have a good day'.

That's only ever happened the once, but there is definitely a hide culture and a hierarchy too with the 'best' hides seemingly housing the same closed clique.
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
I think if there's a group of hobbyists with every right to be down right miserable these days it's us birders 😐. 1) we're all getting old and dying with less and less young blood getting into it, and let's face it, old people are more miserable. 2) We've seen our beloved birds and their habitats throughout the world getting a bashing we'd never have imagined would actually happen when we started birding all those years ago, and its only getting worse. 3) we can't even go anywhere any more cos of covid and how progressively more politically messed up the world is. 4) Technology has taken pretty much all the fun and excitement out of it.. So if you bump into a birder and even get a half-smile out of their craggy toothless face, or a grunt, let alone a beaming friendly expectant "anything about?" then fair play 🤩👍
 

DMW

Well-known member
I think if there's a group of hobbyists with every right to be down right miserable these days it's us birders 😐. 1) we're all getting old and dying with less and less young blood getting into it, and let's face it, old people are more miserable. 2) We've seen our beloved birds and their habitats throughout the world getting a bashing we'd never have imagined would actually happen when we started birding all those years ago, and its only getting worse. 3) we can't even go anywhere any more cos of covid and how progressively more politically messed up the world is. 4) Technology has taken pretty much all the fun and excitement out of it.. So if you bump into a birder and even get a half-smile out of their craggy toothless face, or a grunt, let alone a beaming friendly expectant "anything about?" then fair play 🤩👍
And don't even get me started on the plague of dog walkers...
 

BryanP

Little known member
Canada
Once when entering a hide, I sat right in the middle of a bench, with a great view, only to be looked at as if I had just sat on a White-Throated Robin while taking my seat. There was much mumbling and grumbling and before too long a large man appeared fully dressed for birding, or desert warfare one or the other, and he looked at me and stood there not knowing what to do.

I said to him 'you okay? seen anything good?' and he quietly replied 'you going to be there long?'. The penny suddenly dropped and I realised that this was his 'space' so being the good guy that I am I replied 'I'm here for the day' :LOL:

The tension in the hide became palpable and I could feel the vibrations as the nails loosened from the wood as the hide started to break apart like
Mount Vesuvius was erupting nearby and I made my leave and smiled and said to everyone 'have a good day'.

That's only ever happened the once, but there is definitely a hide culture and a hierarchy too with the 'best' hides seemingly housing the same closed

Bearding the lion in his den eh? Love it! I hope the quality of your impishness deflated the bubble of self importance in that hide, for a little while at least.

Cheers,
Bryan
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I'm kind of glad I don't know of any Hides over here. There may be some but I'm just not aware of them.
 

BryanP

Little known member
Canada
I'm kind of glad I don't know of any Hides over here. There may be some but I'm just not aware of them.
We don’t have many here in Costa Rica. Some of the reserves and parks back home in BC have them but they’ve always been cheerful and fun places, maybe its a Canuck thing.
Cheers,
Bryan
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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