I feel inherently, the act of bird watching is mildly intrusive to each and every bird we look at while in the field. Birds have a healthy fear of humans, and for good reason. It is truly hard to look at this issue (of how to treat sensitive species) from the birds' perspective, as if we truly had each bird's best interest in mind, we'd probably leave all of them alone in the first place. This is clearly unrealistic though, and looking at it in a rather binary way. Therefore, we should look at what we do in shades of grey. There is a scale of how disruptive one should be, and as we have no overarching regulatory agency to answer to, it is up to the individual to tread as lightly as possible (and practice proper birding ethics as defined by one's self, the ABA, Audubon Society, etc.). The informal organization we all operate under makes it tricky when we deem others behaving poorly, as the question of if, and how, to privately "police" members of the greater community inevitably comes into play.
As for the sharing of information, especially pertaining to rare or unusual sightings, its kind of up to the individual how to handle each situation. Personally, I take delight in sharing odd or interesting sightings that I happen across, especially if it brings others joy or excitement. Using OBOL and eBird are great avenues to do just this, as we all know that many of us are on these channels daily, scanning the reports that come in for rarities to chase. It is true that certain circles, or text threads of birders will begin to form, and at times those in the "know" will get a jump on certain birds. However, I try to avoid this potential "culture of the elite", as it surely can be observed as such, and share noteworthy sightings with all (perhaps a little bit after texting certain friends I know might be out in the field). I suppose we are all entitled to our own opinion of how to handle a rarity we find, and also how to feel about how one proceeds sharing (or not sharing) their own sighting.
I will end on this note, I am continually amazed by how many kind, stellar, and knowledgeable birders there are in the state of Oregon. It's great to be a part of this birding community, and by and large, the individuals I've met (and continue to meet) are top notch and very respectful in all regards!
Best, -Nick Mrvelj
On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 12:05 PM, Lars Per Norgren <larspernorgren...> > wrote:
> * > > As Joel has pointed out there is a growing history of GGOW in these mixed > oak > woods. Who ever looked? When on that hill in May I heard hooting Sooty > Grouse. > This is probably inside the city limits of Corvallis. The structure of the > habitat may > be the secret--some very open meadow near good cover. > > On Jan 12, 2018, at 11:24 AM, Joel Geier wrote: > > Dave & All, > > Great Gray Owl is not necessarily "very out of place" in this location. > This is the second report in 4 years, as I noted in another message that > passed this one in the wires. > > The habitat in this neighborhood is very similar to a couple of locations > in Douglas Co. and Lane Co. where this species has been found during > nesting season (confirmed as nesting in the case of Lane Co.). > > The phenomenon of GGOWs nesting in oak-madrone woodlands with mixed > conifers at lower elevations west of the Pacific Crest was documented in > northern California about a decade ago, and since then in several places in > Oregon. I'm sure Harry Fuller will have more information on this topic. > > I've suggested to local birders that this should be regarded as a > potential nesting situation, and observations should be conveyed > (discretely) to people who are involved in monitoring oak habitat > restoration on the adjoining county property. > > Joel > > On Fri, 2018-01-12 at 19:08 +0000, David Irons wrote: > > Unless there is some other mystery bird in Corvallis, the bird in question > was a very out of place Great Gay Owl. I learned of it via Facebook > postings. > > > > Had the bird been a Pine Warbler I suspect its presence would have been > more widely broadcast. > > > > Dave Irons > > > > -- > Joel Geier > Camp Adair area north of Corvallis > > > >