Date: 1/31/18 9:00 am
From: <phawk254...> [arlingtonbirds] <arlingtonbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [Arlington Birds] Snowy Owl Reports (or nonreports) from Arlington
Monday morning at 7 a.m. my daughter told me she had seen a posting on an Arlington listserv about a Snowy Owl being seen (apparently Sunday) in Arlington Heights. This was said as she ran out the door at 7 a.m. to get to work and my wife and I were arriving to take care of our youngest granddaughter. Apparently it was seen again (or through) yesterday, but although people saw it and posted it on one or more listservs, it was not posted on this birding listserv. I posted my report from my Iphone Monday morning but it did not actually appear on the listserv until this morning. I do not know if the owl was seen at the same location for 3 days or was moving around the Heights.

Some birders might not have posted it due to the issue of not revealing owl locations and unleashing hordes of people that might disturb the owl. This is a valid concern. It is ironic that it was posted one or more places in Arlington but NOT on the birding listserv. Personally, I am deeply concerned about people (including but not limited to raw amateur and experienced photographers) possibly harassing vulnerable raptors, particularly nesting raptors or owls on a roost trying to sleep during the daytime. If a snowy owl were roosting in a "protected" area, such as on top of a house, an auto dealership (they love large flat roofs), or a school roof there would be some measure of safety and security from disturbance afforded the raptor. If it were perched on the ground or quite low close to human activity and quite vulnerable to being harassed and flushed, it would be another matter entirely. Last week Mark Resendes reported a Snowy Owl near Union Square Somerville on top of a house where it remained safely sleeping undisturbed all day in the rain.



Paul M. Roberts
Medford, MA
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