[Tweeters] A lesson to be learned from the Sad LEOW Saga

rohan kamath rohankamath88 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 12 07:14:18 PST 2015

I actually cried when I read about the dead owl. Finally regained enough
composure to write this. Please pardon my rant. It's just the sorrow and
the frustration being expressed in words.

I visited Eide road on New Years Eve when I first saw the beautiful LEOW.
There were about 30 people that day, all waiting across the road in the
parking lot and maintaining a safe distance, ensuring no disturbance to the
bird. I was actually thrilled at the high ethical and moral standards
observed by everyone.

Then I started reading a lot of posts here about people flushing and
chasing the owls and I was pretty surprised. I went again on Jan 25th and
was shocked to see that behavior. More than 50 people kept flushing the
bird and chasing it from tree to tree. I was so disappointed that instead I
chose to stay back in the parking lot and film the Short-eared Owl. I just
couldn't bring myself to chase a bird. At one point the LEOW flew across
the grassland and landed right in front of me for a few seconds before the
chasers came back and it had to fly away.

I was deeply disturbed by this behavior and saddened to see all morals and
ethics tossed away for the want of a photograph. I have seen many birds
fall victim to careless photographers back in India. Highly sensitive
species stopped breeding and populations diminished drastically because of
such similar behavior.

>From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely hope that everyone learns their

lesson from this incident. We need to love and care for the birds
ourselves. Enforcement of laws and guidelines are not going to help. We
have tried and failed with that approach because even though you might
protect Leque Island this season, the same thing can happen in some other
place next year. The only way this stops is when we become more responsible
birders and photographers and care about the subject more than the "likes'
and "comments" it's photograph will generate.

Please guys, a very heartfelt appeal to all:

:'( :'(

Rohan Kamath
Software Development Engineer
Amazon.com, Seattle, WA.
Conservation begins at HOME... We CAN make a difference...
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