[CT Birds] Posting Snowy Owl Locations
kmueller at ntplx.net
kmueller at ntplx.net
Sun Jan 4 10:34:01 EST 2015
This all comes down to education! NOT everyone is a subscriber to ABA
and their "rules" of birding, and quite frankly......ABA and other
organized birding groups do not own these birds. EVERYONE has a right
to see, view and experience these birds in any way they wish providing
it is done with compassion and courtesy for the birds. Many people
with cameras wanting to take pictures of the birds are not usually
photographers just someone with a camera who wants a snap or two of
that bird. Probably the majority of them have no idea about the
delicate condition of these birds in their far from home wintering
grounds. Maybe in a polite way, these people should be confronted and
POLITELY have the Owls plight explained to them instead of yelling,
screaming and threatening them.
Yes, there are irresponsible people out there, and we all have to
accept that! That being the case, we all shouldn't have to suffer
because of a few selfish people. This brings back the protracted
debacle from last years Snowy Owl eruption when the same "Owl police"
came out to save the Owl from ourselves! It was suggested that
limiting viewing times and closing areas should be implemented. It was
also suggested that dead rodents from other areas of the country
should be imported and strategically placed in "supposed Owl feeding
areas" to help them cope. I remember "self-appointed" Owl saviors
running around with nets trying to capture Owls to rush them to the
rehabbers (assuming every Owl was starving) when all that did was
increase pressure on the birds and add incredible stress to them!
Now here we are again, with suggestions not to post Owl sightings
because we humans are completely irresponsible and too stupid to
understand that we shouldn't even look at these Owls because we will
again add extra stress on them. I have a better idea, why not just
make all birding illegal!! It seems there are more "conditions" and
"rules" to birding than running a business!
These Owls are a product of God and/or Mother Nature depending on your
belief, and they are EVERYONES to enjoy! If you want to help the birds
in this stressful time of year, maybe it would be better to educate
people rather than implement more stupid rules! Not posting Owl
locations is a very radical decision....what's next, Rationing??
Quoting Patricia Bailey via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>:
> Personally, I don't think we should post sightings of Snowy Owls.
> Most people have no idea of how close is too close and it's easy to
> accidentally not see an owl until too close. I recently climbed a
> windy hill hoping to see something on the "quiet" side of the field.
> Stopped, saw nothing, but raised my binoculars and there was a Bald
> Eagle on the ground feeding on a raccoon. As I turned to leave I
> accidentally flushed him. In today's culture an individual's right
> trumps the greater good. So I think owls are always exciting, but
> best not to post. Check in with your birding friends instead.
> Sherman, CT
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2015 09:23:36 -0800
> From: Roy Harvey <rmharvey at snet.net>
> To: CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
> Subject: [CT Birds] Snowy Owls - Please Read
> <1420305816.78895.YahooMailNeo at web181106.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> We need to stop and think about our behavior, everyone.
> Yesterday there was a report from Milford Point: "Snowy Owl scoped
> from platform out on sandbar - flushed by paparazzi and flew east
> and settled in brush." A few minutes ago I received a private email
> that began: "I heard there was a snowy owl situation yesterday at
> Milford Point where the bird was being chased up and down the
> sandbar by a number of people, mostly amateur photographers. Almost
> all of these folks are reading about it on the CTBirds list."
> There is no justification for harassing these birds. Getting a
> picture isn't that important. Neither is getting a perfect look.
> There is no way to tell now strong, or how weak, these visitors are,
> or how much our presence stresses them. Obviously if the bird flies
> we were too close, but it also means we were already too close
> before it flew. A bird that doesn't fly might simply be too weak or
> tired. Use your binoculars, your scopes and long lenses if you have
> them, but leave the birds some room. Please?
> It has been suggested that reports of Snowy Owls on the list be
> curtailed. I sincerely hope it never gets to that point. Talk to
> each other about it. If you see someone behaving like a jerk toward
> the bird try to help them to understand the problem they are making
> for the bird. I hope I don't have to tell anyone to be polite about
> One more point. There is no reason to broadly condemn birders or
> bird photographers because a few don't know how to go about it.
> Good birding!
> Roy Harvey
> Beacon Falls, CT
> This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association
> (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
> For subscription information visit
More information about the CTBirds