[CT Birds] Follw-up Yellow-throated Warbler Visits Must End

Jerry Connolly birdshop at sbcglobal.net
Thu Feb 16 09:45:25 EST 2012

I think every "chasing" birder would be well-advised to read this email from June Dunn, whose Madison feeder the Yellow-throated Warbler has been visiting.  It is embarrassing for all of us when a few act selfishly and disrespectfully.   From the ABA Birders Code of Conduct: "If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation, and intervene if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s) of the inappropriate action, and attempt, within reason, to have it stopped. If the behavior continues, document it, and notify appropriate individuals or organizations."  We birders, as a community must show courtesy and respect to people who kindly open up their properties so that we may enjoy a rare bird.  More situations like this will not only decrease our opportunities for to enjoy rarities, but they also make all of us appear to the public as very selfish and FOOLISH.  Read on...

Begin forwarded message:

> From: June Dunn <june.dunn at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: Yellow-throated Warbler Visits Must End
> Date: February 16, 2012 9:01:53 AM EST
> To: Jerry Connolly <birdshop at sbcglobal.net>
> Reply-To: June Dunn <june.dunn at yahoo.com>
> Hi, Jerry--
> Unfortunately the expression "No good deeds go unpunished" has been visited upon me.  Last night my landlord called me with the explicit instructions that the bird visits must end, and that any internet info with the details of his property's location must be deleted.  What set him off was the bad behavior of birders he recently encountered on his property plus his wife's web-spotting of the property's address on various sites (like the Cornell lab).  While I haven't witnessed the bad behavior since the first week of the visiting, I haven't been around much to see it--since the semester began in mid-January I've been back to teaching full-time.  However, when my landlord came to do work on his property last week, he encountered a woman stationing herself on my neighbor's porch to photograph Wally, and a man blocking his and his workers' way to the apartment located above me.  When he asked the man to move, the man replied with a curt, "Just a minute," and the woman's response was equally inappropriate.  Also, I was told by my upstairs neighbor that a man from NY on a different day was hanging out on the property for over two hours, wandering about and taking pictures.
> While the vast majority of birders have been respectful, you and I both know that a few selfish, disrespectful people (who are either incapable of reading social cues or instead choose to ignore them for their own self-centered needs) can ruin opportunities for everyone.  My landlord initially wanted me to remove the birdfeeder, but I told him that the birds should not be punished for human stupidity, and he also intimated that my continuing renting on the property was in danger if one of these badly behaved birders "injured" himself on his property and he was sued as a result.  I have to admit that he's probably correct about the suing part--if someone did get injured on the property it most likely would be one of those bad birders going somewhere where s/he shouldn't have gone in the first place, given that individual's sense of self-entitlement.  So here is what he'd like birders to know:
> 1) Visits to Wally must end asap.
> 2)  If someone comes onto the property, that person will be asked to leave immediately.  If that individual resists leaving or otherwise puts up a stink about it, "I've come all the way from [place] to see this bird and I'm not leaving without seeing it," the police will be called.
> 3)  Any address details on the internet must be removed.
> The way this wonderful opportunity to see this special little bird has devolved is very troubling to me.  I wanted others to enjoy seeing him as I've enjoyed his visit over the past few months, but due to the bad behavior of a few selfish individuals, I am in danger of being evicted because of my goodwill, and that isn't right at all.
> I'd appreciate your getting the word out to birders at your earliest convenience.
> Thanks,
> June

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