As a member of the birding community, I am disappointed that the author and Independent editors allowed this headline: “Birdwatcher Charged with Spying on Houseguests”. The charges against Steven Courtney — spying on his houseguests with hidden cameras inside his home — have nothing to do with birdwatching. The fact that he was an occasional birder was not a factor in the arrest, charges, or even mentioned in the article. Kelsey Brugger (or the editor who titled the article) must have found it snicker-worthy to attach such an absurd and unrelated title.
Lumping together “birdwatcher” with these criminal charges is irresponsible and an insult, and results in some very negative implications of “guilty by association.” Shame on you, Independent, for making a very tired joke at the expense of those of us with a passion for observing the natural world. You’ve gone well beyond clever and have achieved nothing except alienating a large number of the community with your irresponsible choice.