Date: 2/28/17 10:52 am
From: Scott Creamer <sdc140...>
Subject: Re: [Maine-birds] Re: Owl again

How close was the photographer in these shots

Link #1 won a prize from the Audubon

Link #2 has a head shot maybe 40 feet away of a great gray owl while
talking about global warming

Todays cover of the Audubon is 10 feet away from waterfowl?

Yesterdays lead article of the Audubon the photographer is so close you can
see the reflection of the photographer in the birds eye, where the bird
itself is clearly on a nest. I few ethical no no-s in one shot

Look to the right on this very page, you'll see an ad for American Birding
Association Birders Guide to Gear with a photographer 8 to 10 feet away
from a bird.

So here are examples of both the Audubon and the ABA not following their
own ethical guidelines for content on their own websites. The Audubon
sponsors a photography contest every year, charges per picture to enter. I
bet most photos in that contest don't follow all of the guidelines. Were
the animals in the above photos stresses to starvation, being prevented
from thriving in any way, did any die? I don't know it wasn't mentioned in
the articles, but I’d bet they were not.

The point? A 600 MM lens is no where near the magnification of a 60X top of
the line scope. For some to get a decent shot of the animal (and it's truly
no ones business to that person motives) they need to be 100 feet away from
a bird 3 feet tall, closer if its smaller. $6K for a camera and $12K for a
lens can get you some nice shots but not at 300 to 500 feet from the car,
through a hill. So if both the ABA and the Audubon can use content from the
vilified "long lens photographers" for fund raising purposes perhaps you
should aim some of the anger at those institutions. A better suggestion is
to look at the world in shades of gray and not in terms of black and white.
These sites are a powerful force for conservation, at a time when it is the
governing party seems not to care about the environment. Think big picture.
If there are 20 folks staring at an owl, chances are they are there for the
right reasons. Consider not having a reflexive reaction to every guy/gal in
a field with a camera. Discussions like the ones we are currently having,
based on calm facts, research and articles from reputable sources can sway
opinion. You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

Just food for thought for the group.

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 12:40:08 PM UTC-5, <trit......> wrote:
> Amen
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Feb 28, 2017, at 12:10, Kristen Lindquist <kelin......>
> <javascript:>> wrote:
> Could we PLEASE stop going back and forth on this, stop the criticisms on
> both sides, stop pretending we know what disturbs a bird or not, and just
> USE COMMON SENSE? In other words, follow the ABA Code of Birding
> Ethics--(here's a link; everyone should read it:
>, it was instituted for this purpose, we
> don't need to reinvent the wheel--and be nice to one another. Please.
> Kristen
> On Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 12:02 PM, Seth Davis <kd7......>
> <javascript:>> wrote:
>> Yes making the comparison between an Owl and a Warbler is not by any
>> means equal. But my argument is that the owl has been seen hunting and
>> eating rodents despite the presence of people in the field thus one can't
>> really claim that people are preventing it from hunting (which a majority
>> of is done at night when people are very unlikely to still be there
>> anyway). To be fair, I've only seen one person say that people were
>> encroaching on the 20-30 foot distance, while most others claim to be
>> 100-300 feet if not further away.
>> And the second part of my argument is that people are way too quick to
>> jump and say that taking photos is harassment or that being X distance from
>> a bird automatically = harassment. With the last GGOW in Milford, if you
>> parked on one side of a two lane road, you were good, you parked on the
>> other you were harassing the owl. I think there needs to be a clear
>> distinction between true harassment and what at most could be considered a
>> disturbance.
>> Lastly, I am an amateur photographer and I took several hundred photos of
>> the GGOW in Milford. I did it for me not anybody else. I want to look back
>> and see the birds that I've had the pleasure to witness and share those
>> experiences with my friends and family. I personally don't think I should
>> feel shamed or looked down on because I took a picture of an owl. I didn't
>> violate any part of birding ethics, and nobody I witnessed there did
>> either, and from a vast majority of the posts I see with the Searsmont
>> GGOW, people are continuing to do more of the same, with maybe one or two
>> reported instances of people crossing the line, which has yet to be well
>> defined anyway.
>> On Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:08:43 AM UTC-5, BAB wrote:
>>> I wonder if the controversy over the great gray might not be solved with
>>> an appeal to respecting comfort distances. While it's true a warbler can
>>> still find food in its immediate vicinity even with a photographer 25 feet
>>> away, it's quite different for an owl that needs a hay field to hunt over.
>>> Professional wildlife photographers don't harass their target species.
>>> What is the purpose of an amateur needing to get so close, especially with
>>> a 500mm lens? Is it for stock images? There are currently more than
>>> enough excellent stock photos of great gray owls, and any additional images
>>> would yield about $0.75 in that particular market. Or is getting close
>>> just a personal objective, sort of like Hemingway proving he can still
>>> shoot one more elephant? If you love the wildlife you are pursuing with a
>>> camera, why would you purposely harass the animal? If you don't love your
>>> wild photographic targets, perhaps it's time to move on to landscapes,
>>> architecture, or portraits.
>>> BAB
>>> --
>>> Bruce Bartrug
>>> Nobleboro, Maine, USA
>>> <bbar......>
>>> •The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but
>>> because of those who look on and do nothing. - Albert Einstein
>>> •In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the
>>> silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King
>> --
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> --
> Kristen Lindquist
> website:
> haiku blog:
> "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
> --Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
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