Here are a few off the top of my head:
- Always write a contact number or e-mail on the inside of your field guides. Never set your field guides on the ground while you wander around to get a better look at a bird.
- Always take the time to help a new birder locate a bird that he/she is having trouble finding. Never say "Oh yeah-I've seen lots of those" when a new birder points out a bird to you.
- Always be careful when identifying a species you are seeing for the first time. Never come to a conclusion without eliminating all other possibilities.
- Always turn your cell phone off when you are going on someones field trip. Never have a phone conversation when the field trip is being conducted.
- Always check to see that you have all your equipment-(binoculars, camera etc.) with you before leaving for your destination. Never wait until you have arrived at your destination before checking making an equipment check.
- Always check the roof of your car before heading off to your next destination. If you think that you've heard the sound of something sliding off the roof of your car, it may be a good idea to check your rear-view mirror.
- Always make sure you have positively identified a species before calling it out in front of a group of more experienced birders or use phrases like-"That looks a little like a... but I'm not sure?" to soften the blow of embarrassment you will have from making an incorrect identification. Never try to rush your identification just to beat out the more experienced birders.
- Always remember to have fun while you are birding. Never take yourself so seriously that you're not having fun anymore.
Okay, that's a few off the top of my head. For those of you who would like to participate, I'd like to hear your version of always and never birding advice!