[Tweeters] re dogs and people and birds .
James M Campanelli
jcampane at u.washington.edu
Thu Feb 14 07:51:22 PST 2013
I have to weigh in on the dog issue or as some may have seen me with my cat, I will say pet issue.
As well intentioned as the objective of not disturbing birds is, it seems it goes a bit far at times . Obviously it's not great form to take a dog to go view the emaciated snowy owl that has managed to catch a gull(I'll leave out my opinion of harassing it by capturing it), but I take great pains to train my dogs and have leash trained my cat to go on outings in the local parks. I often take my binoculars and camera and do some birding while I am out, I often take them with me intent on birding and a lot of the birding I do is done at the off leash park where a vast array of waterfowl songbirds scavengers upland game birds and predators can be seen swooping and diving and running between the dogs at certain times of the year or day. Yes dogs are like coyotes as humans are like giant monkeys, predators in the birds eyes. All things stress birds out and that is a natural part of the experience of life. Responsibility in not allowing your animals to harass wildlife and leavin!
g your dogs locked up at home in a kennel or sent to a doggie warehouse (er..daycare/dog walker etc)while you go out to enjoy the out of doors are not synonymous. The parks are for everyone to enjoy not just birders. I think it's really important that we remember that. We would not have them if it was only the small population of birders supporting them. I have had some great experiences seen some amazing and rare birds(at least to me)counted many lifers and seen raptor kills, courtship displays, fledgings and all sorts of other intimate behavior with my dogs and even my cat in tow(one reason cats are so successful at killing birds is that they know how to not be seen). Never once have I seen a bird drop off a perch or fall from the sky due to the stress of seeing me or my pets with me. I HAVE seen birds flush due to the flash of sunlight reflected off of camera lenses and binoculars. And I have been told to keep my cat on the path while a group of ten or more humans trud!
ged and trampled through the underbrush to spot some bird or b!
ug or plant. I do apologize if i have disturbed others while birding but I will continue as I believe pet ownership to be an interactive thing. I noticed no one berating the guy at the Magnussen wetlands for training his hunting dog on the ducks in the ponds so I spoke up and took photos and drove him off. It's probably best not to sweat the small stuff.
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