Kindness takes a nosedive so that these lensmen have a shot at fame

Photographers get crackers burst so that birds in flight give them best frame

Instances of bursting crackers to scare birds away from lakes so that they fly and give lensmen the best frame has raised the hackles of environment enthusiasts.

Fishermen also resort to the practice so that birds do not prey on the fish and they get a netful. 

The early hours of Sunday was one such occasion at the Hoskote lake. Local fishermen did the job for the photographers.

Swaroop Bharadwaj, a bird-watcher from Hoskote, said, “This morning, when I was watching birds at the lake, I suddenly heard crackers go off. I found that this was done by local fishermen to scare away Cormorants and over 60 Pelicans. A fisherman told me that two photographers wanted him to burst crackers so that they got the best shot of the flying flock.”

The lake, spread across 2,000 acres, is an ideal home for birds, especially migratory ones. This year, the lake has been frequented by the Greater Spotted Eagle, Common Buzzard, Woolly Necked Stork and Painted Stork. This is apart from Pelicans, which have made the lake their home.

Conservationists and ornithologists say that this is not a stray case. It is happening in all City lakes, especially those on the outskirts where bird population is in abundance. Recently at Sankey tank, fishermen scared away Cormorants, as they consider them their natural enemies.

A couple of years ago, this was regularly reported in the Hebbal and Madiwala lakes. The practice still prevails in the lakes of Bengaluru north and south.

Fishermen guilty too

Noted ornithologist M B Krishna said fishermen throw stones at birds to chase them away. This is done throughout the year and is more in the October-April migratory season. It is a violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, Krishna said.

He said there have been cases where photographers kept baits to attract birds for photographing them.

The rcent case was in Hesaraghatta, where live baits were used to attract birds of prey. These unethical practices need to be restricted, the bird lover said.

“Since there is no restriction on photography, lensmen have been exploiting this to the hilt. From our side, we can only warn and caution people. There are many instances when people do not listen and some cases do not come to our notice unless people alert us,” said a Forest department official.

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