Date: 11/29/18 6:32 pm
From: Jack Williamson <jack.williamson.jr...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Dharma Center Bluebirds and a request from OBOL members

Your dismay presumes the photographer in question knew he was doing
something wrong and just didn't care.

I was setting up my camera just a few yards south of you today when the
photographer/birder now in the hot seat was coming out of the field.

He stopped by my camera on its tripod and we spoke for about 20 minutes.
He is from Massachutes and is new to birding and bird photography.

He was surprised to hear that he had done anything wrong. Especially since
the Eastern Bluebird is a ubiquitous species where he is from.

When I explained birders and photographers are ethically bound to observe
but not interact with our subjects and if our actions cause our subject to
alter its behavior then we failed.

He responded by saying "Then I failed because when I rose up one of the
birds immediately flew off..." To which I replied if that turns out to be
the worst mistake you make you will be way ahead of me.

His photographs of the birds are very good and I told him the images would
be valuable to the community. That they would be helpful in possibly
identifying the subspecies and encouraged him to report his observation to
the Oregon Bird Records Committee and to attach his best images. He said
he would do that and he would also post his experience to OBOL which we
also talked about.

This was by all measures a pleasant young man eager to learn and share his

I look at this as a missed educational opportunity for everyone who
witnessed the inappropriate behavior and failed to speak with the person
about it right then and there.

Jim, please know that when I say that I am pointing one finger at you
I pointing three back at me at the same time.

Before this encounter, I would have never walked up to someone to tell them
what an asshole I thought they were - which is what I commend you for not
doing in this case.

Jake - if you are reading this - buck up and post your findings :-)

This is a tough group and you just paid the price of admission, don't waste

Stick with it and you'll find people here are as much or more caring than
they are critical.

I have additional personal information about my first visit to this
stakeout site that I will share in another post.

Jack Williamson
West Linn, Oregon

On Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 1:43 PM David Bailey <davidcbaileyoregon...>

> The photographer as described was extremely selfish to approach a stakeout
> so closely. If the birds are harassed they could find s new sight and many
> hopeful birders may lose out on a memorable twitch. Unfortunately, this
> happens often with overzealous photographers and stakeout bird, especially
> the charismatic species like Snowy Owls and of course bluebirds. Sometimes
> these folks are birders/twitches and sometimes they are more hobbies
> photographers. Either way, shame on them.
> David C. Bailey
> Seaside Oregon
> On Thu, Nov 29, 2018, 13:22 Jim Danzenbaker <jdanzenbaker...> wrote:
>> OBOLers,
>> I made the pilgrimage to see the Eastern Bluebirds this morning. After a
>> half hour wait, they magically appeared (~!!:30) in their usual hover
>> hunting behavior close to the "yellow tree" to the west of the Dharma
>> Center parking lot. Thanks to those who have posted directions and tips
>> for seeing these birds.
>> While I was there, several birders mentioned to me that the bluebirds had
>> been in the field before I arrived but were no longer there due to a
>> photographer who had walked out into the field with his long camo covered
>> lens and was sitting on the ground next to the "pond" waiting for the birds
>> to return. If he was trying to stay camouflaged, it didn't work since he
>> wore a bright yellow jacket. I had a problem with this for several reasons:
>> 1.) Walking out into the field where there were no trails. I thought
>> this was Dharma Center property.
>> 2.) Positioning oneself right next to where the bluebirds were known to
>> favor.
>> I took a recognizable photo of the photographer. When the bluebirds did
>> return, the photographer increased his height so he could get more
>> photographs. This reduced the amount of time that the bluebirds stayed at
>> the location. Within about 5 minutes, the bluebirds left again.
>> Question for the OBOL community:
>> 1.) Should I publicly shame this photographer for his behavior
>> (encroaching on the bluebirds and walking out in the field) and post a
>> photo of him to OBOL.*
>> 2.) Should I forget it and move on.
>> * given that OBOL or OBA has a regular photo contest, I don't want this
>> photographer to get credit for a great photo given what he did to get it.
>> Please e-mail me privately with your feedback.
>> I know that the bluebirds have been returning to this location and may
>> have been here for two months and may well stay here for the entire
>> winter. I don't think this means that its ok for people to walk out into
>> the field to get a photograph which may adversely affect the movements and
>> feeding habits of these birds.
>> Thanks for your patience in reading this and I appreciate your feedback.
>> Keep your eyes and ears skyward.
>> Jim
>> --
>> Jim Danzenbaker
>> Battle Ground, WA
>> 360-702-9395
>> <jdanzenbaker...>

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