[CT Birds] Plovers and photographers
birddog55 at charter.net
Fri Jul 25 01:16:58 EDT 2008
While I appreciate and share Miley's concern about the piping plovers and
respect his hard work and that of all the plover volunteers, TNC, and
Audubon staff, I wish he hadn't used such a broad brush to paint
photographers as the main culprits in the disturbance of plover adults and
chicks. Certainly if any photographer was bothering the birds they should
have been admonished on the spot for their behavior. Sadly, there are so
many other possible sources of disturbance including non-photographing
bird-watchers, nature enthusiasts, beach goers, boaters, fisherman, cats,
dogs, dog-walkers, school programs, wedding parties, air traffic, natural
predators, etc, that to single out bird photographers as a group responsible
for disturbance is just not fair. It is too easy and perhaps safe to go
after this small but normally responsible group without tackling the much
more sensitive (politically speaking) and unmanageable sources of
disturbance that are all too prevalent. I wish to echo Miley's concerns
about the plovers and I urge all readers to understand the delicate balance
the piping plovers are in between success and failure. I understand the
daily frustration he must encounter dealing with such a sensitive species in
such a popular location but those serious photographers I know,
photographers and not nature-lovers or beach-goers with cameras, would not
jeopardize any species' success to get a photo. I do not mean to be
difficult, Miley, I am on your side. I just don't want to be immediately
blamed for disturbing a bird when I pull my camera and telephoto lens out of
the car. I would also ask that we photographers use best judgement when
photographing any natural wonder. Everything that we (all of us, not just
photographers) do in the natural word is potentially intrusive...we should
all work hard to leave as small a foot print as possible.
Thanks for entertaining my rant.
Mark S. Szantyr
80 Bicknell Road #9
Ashford, Connecticut 06278
Birddog55 at charter.net
----- Original Message -----
From: "Milan Bull" <mbull at ctaudubon.org>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 2:45 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Plovers and photographers
> Although the nesting season is about over for piping plovers, several
> observers noticed photographers setting up equipment adjacent to the
> exclosures this past year with camera lenses even poking through the
> fencing in an effort to get the best shot possible. This resulted in
> stressing the adults and causing them to temporarily abandon incubation.
> With all the natural stresses of beach and dog walkers, sunbathers and
> beer parties, etc. (some people even used the exclosure netting as beer
> can holders!), the birds need as much time at the nest as possible and it
> is critical to avoid pushing them off the nest, no matter how
> well-intentioned the photographer may be.
> The Piping Plover Recovery Team recommends a minimum of a 50 meter buffer
> be kept around the exclosures at all times while the nests are active.
> Please pass this along to friends and photographers. Thanks!
> Milan G. Bull
> Senior Director of Science and Conservation
> Connecticut Audubon Society
> 2325 Burr St.
> Fairfield, CT 06824
> mbull at ctaudubon.org
> This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA)
> for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
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