[CT Birds] Injured Long beach Snowy and fieldcraft

julian hough jrhough1 at snet.net
Sat Dec 28 23:26:31 EST 2013

I have spent some time at Stratford over the past week and
considering the amount of people that include birders, bird photographers and amateur
photographers, most people I have seen have been behaving well. The owls have
been quite obliging. Most of the time, the main issues I have seen has been
with either dog walkers, walkers or fishermen flushing the birds. From a birder
point of view basic fieldcraft can be adopted to minimize the impact; multiple
people approaching the owls from different directions or walking underneath the
tree they are in, or trying to take photos with a 50 mm lens have caused the
birds to spook more than those actions of actual photographers. If most people
stay together, like a group of three obvious savvy photographers were doing the
other day, the owls can be rather tolerant, but when there are five people
spreadout, it’s likely to increase the anxiety of the owl.
The hearsay talk of people baiting the owls will only add
grist to the mill, so I think until somebody is actually seen to be doing that,
I see it as nothing but stirring the pot unnecessarily around a topic that is always close to boiling over the edge.
Also, according to one person I know, the bird with the injured leg is the same, "ash-faced" bird that was seen by several of us the day before at Milford Point.

Julian Hough
New Haven, CT 06519

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