Date: 1/28/18 8:33 pm
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Wallowa Co Gyrfalcon
Hi,Jack -

I am on Trent's and Alan's side on this issue.  Back in the 1970s we were paranoid about falconers capturing any Gyrfalcons they might hear about and selling them for 10s of thousands of $ to Saudi sheiks.  That paranoia may have been justified then, but I do not believe it is any more, at least in the Pacific Northwest.  The sheiks now have better ways to get birds, and the local falconers in Oregon probably find the wintering Gyrs before we do.

Most of the places Gyrs occur in Oregon are wide open enough, with few enough public roads, that the liklihood of birder attention materially affecting a Gyr is pretty small.  So, it gets flushed a couple of times, and goes and sits on a post or the ground half a mile across a posted - pasture:  bird is no longer hassled.

I have occasionally seen Gyrfalcons on my own (always in flight), but I suspect my best opportunities to get to really study one will come with a bird whose winter territory and patterns of movement  have been worked out by birders.

On 1/28/2018 7:54:28 PM, Jack Williamson <jack.williamson.jr...> wrote:
I agree - Trent is the root cause of this particular dilemma.  

Jack Williamson
West Linn, Oregon

On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 7:37 PM, Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> [mailto:<acontrer56...>]> wrote:

My guilt is written on my … well, let’s just say it’s written. 

But Trent asked me to post the location so I did, and I didn’t put anything on eBird.  So there !

Alan Contreras
<acontrer56...> [mailto:<acontrer56...>]

Eugene, Oregon []

On Jan 28, 2018, at 7:13 PM, Jack Williamson <jack.williamson.jr...> [mailto:<jack.williamson.jr...>]> wrote:

For those unfamiliar with the roads in Wallowa County, I believe the approximate coordinates of Trent's observation are 45.52484, -117.20837.

I compiled eBird observations of GYRF in the county about this same time last winter, and now the word prescient comes to mind in the wake of eBird's recent decision to obscure location data of this and other Sensitive Species []. 

It is a policy I support in general - but (obviously) have reservations about the need and or advisability of impeding the collection of data about Gyrfalcons on wintering territories especially in areas like Wallowa county.

Please find my map of the observations of the Gyrfalcon reported since 2014 below. [;usp=sharing]

The map is not public on the web - yet anyone with the link above can view it. 

In other words, if this bird fails to successfully overwinter in the area due to human interference, then we are all responsible.  

Actually, I take that back. Alan Contreas was the first person to make the location-specific information about Trent's observation public - so let's all take shelter behind him when allegations of contravening eBird policy begin to fly! 

Happy birding,

Jack Williamson
West Linn, Oregon

On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 2:39 PM, Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> [mailto:<acontrer56...>]> wrote:

Trent Bray reports a dark GYRfalcon up Elk Mtn Rd a mile before Swamp Creek Rd.

Alan Contreras
Eugene, Oregon

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