Date: 2/8/17 11:07 am
From: Mandy Cumming (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: RE: Saw-whet Owl taping

In light of Steve Shultz's email concerning reporting nesting locations, I
feel compelled to apologize for publicizing the location of what I believed
to be a Barn Owl's nest last summer. Ignorance of an issue is no excuse. It
was definitely never my intent to endanger any wildlife.

I have always viewed eBird, and other methods of reporting bird-related
findings, as a tool for education and submitting data for scientific use. I
suppose my lack of knowledge of birding in general, and its community, is

Anyway, my apologies everyone.

Mandy Cumming
Greenville, NC (Pitt County)

On Feb 8, 2017 1:45 PM, Shultz, Steven <carolinabirds...> wrote:

I’m not sure that the taping question has approached the level of a dead
horse, but it’s certainly been beaten rather frequently. It’s wrapped up
fairly neatly here:

And really, whether or not it’s legal, illegal, or super-uncouth, in my
humble opinion, really does not matter (don’t freak out yet, read on).

The speed limit on the road into Bodie Lighthouse is something like 15 mph
(maybe it’s 20, but whatever, you’ll see the point). Driving faster than
that is illegal. How many folks maintain a full 15 mph the entire way?
How many folks have never (ever) exceeded 55 mph on HWY 12? So let’s start
from the perspective that 98% of birders already did something illegal.

The question might be better phrased, is it WISE to tape. If the bird was
really 10 feet on the other side of the NPS boundary would it really change
the dynamic?

We should not need a NPS regulation to help our moral compass determine if
it is wise to announce to an unlimited population that a single, very
easily accessible bird, responds to a tape. So my concern is not so much
about whether or not they taped the bird, my concern would be posting to a
public site that the bird is present and responsive to a tape. Probably
not the best choice, but certainly possible that the observers did not know
the impacts of what they were doing, and hey, they were from a neighboring
state so we can look down on them condescendingly ;-)

I kind of see this more as an unintended consequence of eBird than a taping
issue. eBird allows folks to see that a Saw-what Owl was seen at this
specific spot on these specific dates, which makes it easy for folks to
chase that particular owl. For better or worse, every time we eBird a rare
bird, we are inviting others to join the fun and go see it.

I guess I’ll end with a public service announcement to please consider
being somewhat circumspect in publicly reporting the locations of roosting
owls, nesting raptors, etc. Sadly there are some crazy folks out there and
once information is made public, we cannot control who gets it and how they
use it. The news today that a Bald Eagle was found shot in the head by a
pellet (Chatham County, NC) should remind folks that, for example, by
announcing the location of that nest, it may end up being fatal to the
occupants. Sadly.

*Steve Shultz*

*From:* <carolinabirds-request...> [mailto:carolinabirds-request@] *On Behalf Of *"<megascops.2014...>"
*Sent:* Wednesday, February 08, 2017 11:22 AM
*To:* Kent Fiala
*Subject:* Re: Saw-whet Owl taping

Thanks for posting this to the list. Will look forward to any definitive
replies on this subject

I wasn't able to find a definitive park service statement, but did find
this, about the effects of noise in national parks, and feel we probably
don't give enough thought to how our sounds affect wildlife's ability to

Mary K

------ Original message------

*From: *Kent Fiala

*Date: *Wed, Feb 8, 2017 8:59 AM

*To: *carolinabirds;

*Cc: *

*Subject:*Saw-whet Owl taping

Recently I've noticed some eBird checklists that comment on the Saw-whet
Owls at Bodie Island Lighthouse (in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore)
responding to playback. Does the National Park Service still prohibit use
of playback on NPS properties?

Kent Fiala

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