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It is appropriate to express concern and to ask how appropriate an
activity is relative to ABA ethical standards.
Some observations:

1.  Please be assured that a birder of Steve Kinder's character,
abilities and respect within the birding community would never
participate in, much less lead and invite participation in an unethical
birding practice.  Steve issued his invitation as a service to fellow
birders, many of whom have never seen a Yellow Rail and do not know how
or where to look.  It is an adventure, a social event, but most
decidedly, an educational experience.

2.  Having participated in a Yellow Rail walk led by Steve, I can attest
the the greatest flushing activity was the faces of the walkers due to
the exertion.  We flushed a couple of sparrows, a pheasant or two, and
after an hour, 2 Yellow Rails that each flew less than 100 feet in
opposite directions less than 10 feet above the vegetation (only one of
the  participants saw both birds).  It is likely that we were close to
these or other rails during the hour, but they went undetected and
merrily on their way.

3.  Rail walks in more northern climes may affect nesting birds, so the
effect on breeding activity must be considered.  Here, the birds are
taking a refueling R & R break in a leisurely southward migration, and
will experience minimal disruption in their activities from our short
outing in their vicinity--less than when the coyotes prowl the area.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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