[CT Birds] Birding and Police, a different take

Boletebill boletebill at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 10 13:03:48 EST 2010


As far as I know the descriptor "Naturalist" has no formal or academic credentials associated with it.  You're a naturalist if you say you're a naturalist but probably more importantly you're a naturalist if OTHER PEOPLE say you are.  The 19th century passion for Natural History was a more or less informal study of Biology, Geology and the life histories of plants and animals. Today many "naturalists" are self taught ecologists with wide ranging interests in plants, animals, fungi and their inter-actions.
 
The State of CT DEP has a Master of Wildlife Conservation program and some states, like Florida, have Master Naturalist programs.
 
Many if not most of the frequent posters on this list are naturalists.
 
Bill Yule

"For those who hunger after the earthly excrescences called mushrooms."

--- On Sun, 1/10/10, Donna <sunny19682 at comcast.net> wrote:


From: Donna <sunny19682 at comcast.net>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Birding and Police, a different take
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2010, 12:34 PM


I can't help but agree... and I certainly hope the topic won't fade as it does seriously impact what this list was set up to do - allow us to share where birds are located.  Perhaps we can initiate some discussion to foster the education desperately needed.  Heck, in the long run, we may end up recruiting new birders (now wouldn't that be cool?).  And if we are not allowed to have such discussions here, then I suggest setting up a sister site on say Yahoo Groups (very easy to join and use) or something similar (unless another discussion place already exists).  I think this is a great topic overall, despite the fact that I am annoyed with the idea that someone might be out there thinking that just because I'm carrying a camera, scope, and what not that I'm some perv or terrorist with a hidden agenda.

As someone recently entering the educational system, I've been finding any excuse to incorporate my photographs of anything relating to nature (and getting plenty of ooo's and ahhh's from students amazed that their current long term substitute teacher is so talented - big blush when many have greater skills than I) - but really, what can we do to help folks understand that we are communing with nature - maybe even a step up in doing research/studies?

Should we consider registering ourselves with a database that we are birders or other well-rounded naturalists?  Speaking of naturalists, perhaps someone can tell me how you go about becoming a 'naturalist'?  Does someone take a set of courses?  I've a degree in Biology and been a friend of nature for all my life (sure, I don't do all I should, but I'm slowly changing my old habits).

Donna


----- Original Message ----- From: "Boletebill" <boletebill at yahoo.com>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>; "Mark Szantyr" <birddog55 at charter.net>
Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Birding and Police, a different take


Like most long time birders I too have had my interactions with police. In the mid '90's I went through an owl phase and after the second middle-of-the-night questioning I just started a policy of calling the local police, giving my plate # and telling them what I was up to. Never got bothered after that and I do the same for night time salamander surveys.

I had a scary encounter at Hammonassett Reservoir birding when a Water Co. cop and local police tracked me down in the woods and grilled me about what I was doing so near the water supply. It took a lot of talking to convince them that I wasn't a terrorist about to poison the water supply. As many have said about this I wasn't mad and I'm glad someone is watching our water supplies and now I generally avoid birding off trail on water supply land. Yes I was off trail. Mea culpa.

My nightmare scenario happened at Ninigret Wildlife Sancuary. I was birding-by-car, that is driving slowly along the roads and airstrip listening for different birds. I passed the swimming pond twice during my circuit and when I left the park State Police pulled me over, guns drawn and extracted me from my car. It seemed a woman at the swimming pond thought I was looking to abduct a child from the park. Apparently someone had attempted that earlier in the summer and this woman was "Certain" it was me. Everything was cleared up in short order but phew, that was scary and ruined a whole day of my vacation.

I know a lot of people have had their say on this and many are ready for the subject to fade away but one thought that I have about these experiences is this: Doesn't this cry out for some kind of educational outreach between Birder organizations and local police, Park personel, State police? Just a thought.

Bill Yule
"For those who hunger after the earthly excrescences called mushrooms."

--- On Sat, 1/9/10, Mark Szantyr <birddog55 at charter.net> wrote:


From: Mark Szantyr <birddog55 at charter.net>
Subject: [CT Birds] Birding and Police, a different take
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Date: Saturday, January 9, 2010, 9:55 PM


Having the distinction of being a birder who was arrested for criminal trespass on my very first visit to the "old" Milford Point ( all charges dropped and the complaintant warned to stop harassing birders), I want to say that in subsequent encounters with police I have had nothing but respectful questions and then warm interest in what this birding thing was all about.
This may be an unpopular view, but while out at all hours of the night owling in some rather remote and sometimes unsavory environments, I have regarded their concern as a comfort. I always thank them for checking on me for if I was indeed in need of assistance, I was glad to know they were around.

Mark
Mark S. Szantyr
80 Bicknell Road #9
Ashford, Connecticut 06278
860-487-9766
Birddog55 at charter.net

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_______________________________________________
This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org 

_______________________________________________
This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org



      


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