Date: 2/27/17 8:34 am
From: Scott Creamer <sdc140...>
Subject: Re: [Maine-birds] Great Grey
Please go and enjoy the bird. I was there Saturday for a better part of the
day. It seems to move in the neighborhood between the two sites. It seems
very tolerant of people and other critters. In fact the only thing that got
the owl to react at all was a hawk flyby. I did some reading on the species
and they don't have much fear of people, simply because they hardly see
them. One book I had noted a researcher caught one bare handed in the
1970's.

A word of advice, I would respect the posted no trespassing signs. Some,
like the Christmas Tree field have a phone number on them to call, most
specify no hunting or trapping. The cemetery field on Moody Mountain Road
was not posted and looked like public or unprotected land. While I was
there (at the cemetery) someone was target shooting for an hour or so quite
close, 1/2 mile or so by the sound of it. ( 100 to 200 rounds ). I was told
it was a rifle. I also noticed 4 deer carcass' in the graveyard field. I
was told folks use them as bait to hunt coyote which are considered a local
nuisance. At one point someone fired off two rounds close enough that we
all flinched. So you don't want to accidentally wander into someone's
makeshift target range.

Of note, the owl did not seem to mind the shooting, the people, even the
hunting dogs. Apparently people were hunting foxes with a few very vocal
hound dogs. I saw the owl hunt, sleep, yawn, produce a pellet, preen for
hours and was thrilled when it flew at us several times. Folks got within
100 to 150 feet of the bird and did not stress it. I had a similar
experience with the Milford bird on Stud Mill road. Both were remarkably
immune to the human presence there. Someone posted earlier photography
guidelines and it had some good stuff and was worth the read. Know the
bird, "read the room" and you'll be fine.

Good Luck!
-Scott

On Monday, February 27, 2017 at 10:02:17 AM UTC-5, Seth Davis wrote:
>
> Many people have reported this bird actively hunting/eating prey, so this
> tells me the bird is not distressed to the point of what many are so keen
> to call "harassment". I very much believe and abide by birding ethics, but
> to be honest people need to lighten up, standing in a field taking pictures
> (provided that field is not private property) is not harassment. How many
> times has the bird flushed as a result of photographers getting closer? I
> honestly don't know as I haven't gone and seen this one, but people running
> around saying that photographers are harassing the bird when A. it's still
> performing a life maintenance behaviors, B. not being flushed, and C.
> continuing to stay in the same location all indicate that this bird is not
> distressed. Again, lighten up and enjoy the bird. If you see someone acting
> inappropriately ask them to stop, but from all accounts that I have heard
> (and seen with the previous Great Gray in Milford) people are NOT harassing
> the bird.
>
> On Monday, February 27, 2017 at 6:15:05 AM UTC-5, Richard Harris Podolsky
> wrote:
>>
>> I only went because it was so close to my home - 20 mins! Plus I haven't
>> seen a great grey in over 20 years. Generally the embarrassment and
>> mortification I experience at rare bird stake-outs overwhelms any desire to
>> see a rarity. I'd rather stay home and watch a nuthatch.
>>
>> To the few birders staying on the road, out of the field or at least
>> 300-500 feet away I applaud you. To the folks sticking their lenses in the
>> owls face from 20-30 feet away, shame on you.
>>
>> Yesterday I heard on good authority that "long lenses" were harassing the
>> bird at times from 20-30 feet away! Imagine what that must look like to a
>> creature with the visual accuity of an great grey owl? I thought the whole
>> point of huge lenses were to get shots from a distance. Talk about
>> overcompensation! Who sticks a 600mm lenses in the face of a rare owl here
>> in search of food??! Who does that? Well, now we know.
>>
>>

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