[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??

Keith Mueller

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
> Message-ID:
> 	<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  
> it.
> 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
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