[CT Birds] reporting owls

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Wed Nov 7 07:54:10 EST 2012


This is clearly an issue that will have people on both sides of the fence. Personally, I would prefer that specific high traffic areas not be mentioned. This is largely because I have been birding long enough to have seen and heard of the "horror" stories, such as branches being broken to better see the birds, birds being repeatedly flushed by people and subsequently mobbed by crows, and even Saw-whets being picked up off branches to show "they weren't stressed" by it. I think Glenn hits on an important fact, we just don't know how stressed by our presence these roosting birds are. Sitting still is a major part of their evolved self defense, so arguing that they don't get all fidgety and therefore are fine with a crowd of people looking at them seems to me to miss an important point. I can mention many species, and not just avian species, that freeze or play dead when in the presence of a predator. A Hog-nosed snake has an elaborate "I'm dead" behavior when touched. Truly serpentine thespians! Does that mean the snake isn't stressed? I hardly think so. All in all, I support the forum rules as they stand and regard Roy's approach to moderation as exemplary.

Dave

David Provencher

Subject: [CT Birds] reporting owls

(Glenn's post in part) I also have no idea how much stress a roosting owl incurs if birders are quiet and maintain a respectful distance.

Glenn Williams
Mystic 
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