[CT Birds] Snowy Owl Discussion

Dave Provencher hikerbirder at gmail.com
Thu Dec 5 01:29:15 EST 2013

Two thoughts: First, I'm fairly confident no one on this list wants to
negatively affect any owls, whether they're primarily a birder or a
photographer. I've seen birds "pushed" too much in either instance, but the
individuals who do this are in the minority in our community. It should
also be noted that the people who do push birds around almost always
believe they are doing no harm (too which I disagree). My hope is our
community respects these birds and tries to not have a harmful affect on
them. I do not believe testy messages on this list are productive and they
often are inaccurate (usually innocently so).

Second: Irruptive migration by birds of prey is always accompanied by a
degree of mortality. This can't be helped and I believe shouldn't be
helped. The birds that show up in our area are almost always young and
inexperienced. They need to learn to fend for themselves under very tough
conditions. Some will succeed and some will fail. Those that succeed will
be smarter stronger individuals that should help the species stay healthier
overall. The best thing we can do is not add another degree of difficulty
to the equation by repeatedly flushing birds while they're in the process
of learning how to survive their "irruption" here. Most birders and nature
photographers are very conscientious about their behavior, and we are much
better at respecting these birds needs than most other people who are
ignorant of the affects their behavior on wildlife.


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