I have added the following to my FB posts to the Arlington List with photos of the Snowy Owl. I posted Sunday evening, after the bird had flown away. Everyone I saw that afternoon was respectful both of the bird and the home on which it was perched. The house is owned by friends of friends of mine.
It's a shame that people can get greedy and go to far trying to photograph a beautiful bird. It is also a shame that to protect birds, we now have to be careful about the timing of reporting certain types of sightings.
So here is what I added to my FB post:
PSA: Adapted from Paul Roberts, a local raptor expert: Disturbing the owl is a valid concern. 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.