Date: 2/27/17 11:42 am
From: 'Derek Lovitch' via Maine birds <maine-birds...>
Subject: Re: [Maine-birds] Re: Nature photographers code-regards current Great Gray Owl Conversation
Hi all,
Until we have heart rate monitors and calorie counters on our vagrant owls (owl FitBits?) as well as unobtrusive ways to blood sample for stress hormones (especially corticosterone that when induced effects other bodily functions), then we won't be able to define what is or is not too close.

So in the meantime, we need to employ common sense, common courtesy, and common decency...all of which seem to go out the window for SOME people when it comes to these enigmatic and charismatic rarities.

-Derek

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 27, 2017, at 2:19 PM, Seth Davis <kd7gxf...> wrote:
>
> Thanks for posting this, and it has some useful information, but fails to answer the question that I think is spurring a lot of this discussion (borderline argument). It says use a lens with a focal length long enough to avoid getting too close to your subject. That's ok, but what is "too close"? It sounds as if most photographers at the site are between 100-300 ft, with one report of people getting within 20-30 feet. So where is the cutoff? If the bird isn't flushing or showing any other sign of distress ought that be indication that photographers are within an acceptable distance? If the bird flies toward the crowd (as it has done on several occasions) should they all turn and run? As I'm writing this, I just measured out 30 feet from my office and to me that honestly seems ok in terms of being a safe distance though a little more room wouldn't hurt. I've certainly been closer to warblers and other birds foraging for food so I don't see why an owl should be treated differently? It was about 40, maybe closer to 50 feet that they kept folks at from the nesting Great Horned Owl in Portland last year and that bird was restricted due to it's nest. I guess I feel that if people are not actively harassing the bird (i.e., throwing things at it, baiting it, making a ton of noise to get it's attention) why all the hubbub about people approaching? A lot of folks seem to think that it's the humans that are encroaching the bird, when in fact this whole thing is in the bird's court. It could simply leave and all the photographers and birders would be sad and probably start pointing blame at others for scaring it away, and yet it has remained at the site for the past several days, continues to hunt, and is otherwise not caring about the mob of people gawking at it.
>
> Perhaps I'm wrong, but nobody can give a clear cut answer as to what is ok and how far you have to be from a bird. If we're going to have some standard it should be based on the behavior of the bird, which currently doesn't seem bothered by people 30 ft away. Photographers should and likely are aware that if they flush the bird, they ruin it for everyone and everyone there will be angry specifically at them (which is another part of the link you posted: Don't ruin it for everyone else). So is it safe to say that 50 feet is the acceptable minimum?
>
>> On Monday, February 27, 2017 at 6:52:55 AM UTC-5, David Small wrote:
>> Education is the key at all levels. Each of the more educated/learned are responsible to patiently inform the less educated. As the saying goes,"you can't legislate morality".
>>
>> For the photographers among us, perhaps a refresher is in order, please take a look.
>>
>> http://www.naturephotographers.net/codeofconduct.html
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Daveđź“·
>
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