Nottingham

Birdsong apps prompt Attenborough Nature Centre alert

Image caption The reserve is a series of flooded former gravel quarries

Photographers using mobile phone applications to attract birds could be harming wildlife, wardens have said.

Staff at Attenborough Nature Centre, near Nottingham, said there had been incidents of birdsong recorded on smart phones being used to lure the animals.

This could distress nesting birds and even put their young at risk, they warned.

While it is illegal to disturb nesting birds, staff have said they just want people to show more consideration.

Smart phones can download applications - computer programmes - which allow them to perform specific tasks.

Animal behaviour

Staff at Attenborough have said some applications contain hundreds of bird calls and these are being used to tempt birds towards cameras.

Tim Sexton, from the nature centre, said: "The birds could well be sat on eggs or trying to feed young.

"Being disturbed then could be very detrimental to the chicks in the nest as they could end up getting chilled because their parents have gone."

Paul Fitzgerald, a professional wildlife photographer, said using such technology defeated the object of what he was doing.

"I would personally spend time in their habitat, in a hide, or sat among the undergrowth.

"Because you are there to watch their behaviour and daily traits, understand what their movements are like, what their flight patterns are," he said.

Attenborough Nature Reserve is a series of flooded former gravel quarries and was opened in 2005.

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