[Tweeters] Snowy Owls and stress

Sherry Hagen littlebirder at gmail.com
Wed Feb 13 13:49:49 PST 2013

Well said.

Sherry Hagen
Vancouver, WA
littlebirder at gmail.com
On Feb 13, 2013 1:43 PM, "Dennis Paulson" <dennispaulson at comcast.net> wrote:

> Hello, tweets.


> I read the reports about the unethical behavior of some photographers, and

> I couldn't agree more that this should be discouraged. As others have said,

> most of the ones pushing the Snowy Owls are not birders or wildlife

> photographers but visitors who think the birds are cool and want to get

> photos of or better looks at them. Many of them have cameras with short

> lenses not suited for bird photography, so they need/want to get as close

> as they can for good pictures. We all have seen the consequences of that.

> And do one would say this is a good thing, but I'm sure a lot of it is

> ignorance rather than intended harm, so education is the best response to

> it.


> But, as I wrote last winter, I would like to clarify one aspect of this. *The

> birds are not exhausted, they are not stressed* They are at Damon Point

> because they want to be there, because it is a great place for them,

> because they can forage very successfully there and have no problem getting

> enough to eat. If they were too stressed, including by the transgressions

> of people and dogs, they would go somewhere else. They are obviously

> surviving just fine after months of those transgressions. Painting a

> picture that they are poor suffering displaced waifs that deserve to have a

> better life is scientifically incorrect and, I think, morally wrong, as it

> immediately creates negative thoughts about all of us who go out looking

> for Snowy Owls.


> And all other wild birds, if you think about it. Our presence in the world

> has an effect on everything around us, especially wildlife. Should we not

> go out in our backyard because there is a chickadee relaxing (if chickadees

> ever relax) in the tree near the door? Should we not drive because we scare

> birds up that are feeding by the roadside? Should we not put up bird

> feeders because we are inviting Pine Siskins to death by salmonellosis or

> Sharp-shinned Hawk?


> Let's please continue to object to and educate about rude behavior but

> not, by our language, make wildlife viewing an unsavory activity. Let's not

> impugn the basic intelligence and survivor abilities of Snowy Owls and the

> other birds that we encounter unendingly and seem to do fine in spite of

> it. Habitat destruction, pollution, overharvesting of game species,

> introduction and subsidizing of predators, human-caused climate change,

> those are the real enemies of wildlife. Not people walking around and

> disturbing them.


> Dennis

> -----

> Dennis Paulson

> 1724 NE 98 St.

> Seattle, WA 98115

> 206-528-1382

> dennispaulson at comcast.net





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