[Tweeters] Eide and Chinook Bend Owling 2/7/15

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sat Feb 7 19:18:30 PST 2015

After seeming to note a decrease in the either ignorant, impatient or selfish behavior exhibited by some owl-watchers, photographers and other visitors to the Eide owl site, I kept posting primarily positive messages on Tweeters, hoping this approach would help encourage 'good' behavior as well as give more people the opportunity to see owls in the wild, but I guess I will have to concede that positivity was not the panacea for which I'd hoped. Negative human ways are still taking over, and I thank those of you, like Sammy, who, having seen much more of this craziness than I, have posted the brutal facts on Tweeters and alerted the wildlife officials. A few 'monitors' out there have tried to 'police' the spot, but have unfortunately caused some defensiveness, resistance and bad feelings, and not effectively changing behavior of enough people to make a difference in the overall scene.

Because of the ease of accessibility of this area, proximity of the one roost site right near the path and because at least one of the LEOWs has seemed to acclimate to a lot of the non-code actions of many of the viewers, some people have been tempted to push the envelope and, at the least, get closer, unable to resist the temptation or not knowing about or following the code of their own volition. So we now may need to step in and post rules and enlist the help of of wildlife officials, the similar things we resorted to at Damon Pt. and Boundary Bay when the Snowy Owls brought out such behavior. The Stanwood Snowy situation was, due to rules and private property issues, not quite as disturbing for those owls, but some flushing still occurred. And the 'bumping' did affect some of the 'legal' watchers and photographers as well as the owls.

This is truly sad, sad that we can't seem to have and utilize 'common sense', understanding and caring for the wildlife, and for each other. We also come up with rigid and sometimes outdated regulations for human behavior in the vicinity of wild things. Like Kevin Lucas, I too hope that places designated as "Restricted" or "Off Limits" for the public, will some day be able to provide limited access to permitted wildlife enthusiasts with 'good behavior' (how do we assure that?), and that sites like eBird will soon include designations for "restricted access" sites.

This certainly has turned into a similar situation as was seen at Boundary Bay and Ocean Shores - did any of the protection signs or 'rules' actually curtail much of the behavior? I never was at either site during those winters, but people who were, said that, despite all the uproar and monitoring added at those sites, there still were quite a few folks who ignored pleas and signs and did as they pleased, doing one or more inappropriate things like Sammy listed in her post.

I also wish to express disappointment the KING 5 pieces on both the Eide and the Chinook Bend owl sites were not better - I only saw the Pygmy Owl one and - and it was not very good, for several reasons. And the Eide Rd. one, is just plain insensitive and BAD. KING could try again and make a positive impact - hope they consider doing it.

One more thought - Dale C mentioned holding off on posts for a variety of reasons and I do see how that can be helpful to some birds in some situations, especially nesting birds at some accessible nest/sites. However, I also feel that this can promote a sense of entitlement and elitism as a side-effect, which isn't so good.

Much to consider, for me and all of us who love getting out there and searching for wildlife.

I still believe that kind and thoughtful approaches will ultimately have better results as far as doing the right things for animals and habitat.

Thanks to all who are weighing in, both on this site and off.

Barb Deihl
Matthews Beach Neighborhood - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net

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