13 hours ago
Part emotional roller coaster, part cultural safari. The pollution and poverty shocked me, and Indian daily life is very different from mine. But you know what else had my jaw on the floor? The birds! As far as I can tell, the urban areas of India aren’t supposed to be prime spots for birding, but from parrots to pigeons to peafowl, there were plenty of avian species to observe and photograph. The crows have a patch of gray on their neck and chest (if you know me, you know I loooooove corvids), and the parrots and pigeons nest just about anywhere they can stand. The peacocks were a hoot as always (I can do a really good call now), and I loved watching the kites soar high in the sky, as if to remind everyone that they’re at the top of this pecking order. ⠀ And this goes without saying, but none of these birds were baited, nor were they photographed in a captive setting. You should never feed wildlife (or post media of this online, as it encourages others to follow suit), and if your subject is photographed at a sanctuary, I believe you have an obligation to disclose that. While this may seem like common sense and good ethics, this platform has proven to me that it will forever be necessary to educate others on these matters. I will be tackling the issue of droning soon, but first I want to address some of the other practices that were brought to my attention in India, namely elephant riding. I have shared a video in my stories that will upset some, but it’s very important to watch — AND SHARE. If you see influencers posting media of elephant riding, please send them the post and politely encourage them to do a little more research on the matter. Please tell your friends, especially if you think they are keen on doing this sort of activity when traveling abroad. And most importantly, please take some time each day to do something for the planet, rather than yourself. Whether it’s donating $5 to a nonprofit, sending an educational video to a friend or picking up a piece of trash, the little things do add up.