Date: 1/6/19 5:03 pm
From: Mary Beth Kaeser via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Owls and eBird- A word of caution
Thank you!

On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 7:52 PM Stefan Martin via CTBirds <
<ctbirds...> wrote:

> Hey all,
> It seems that every winter there is an incident (or many) involving
> ‘Day-roosting Owls’ (I.e. Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls) and unethical
> approach or behavior. While the guidelines for this listserv prohibit
> reporting these species, eBird does not follow the same criteria. Although
> it is important to obtain this data on individual species and occurrence,
> reports of Owls on eBird lead to unnecessary disturbance and sometimes,
> even death (I’ve seen this happen)..
>
> What’s the reason for this post?
> It was brought to my attention that there was a recent issue involving an
> individual and a specific bird that had been regularly reported on eBird
> over the past few weeks which escalated to the point where law enforcement
> needed to be called. The individual (photographer) was shaking a tree and
> removing/snapping branches by hand in order to get the Owl to look at the
> photographer for the ‘perfect shot’.. The individual was confronted by
> another birder and became a scene rather quickly.. Needless to say, this
> bird which had been around for weeks now, has abandoned the roost and the
> tree was essentially destroyed. I’m not a fan of being the ‘Owl-Police’ but
> unfortunately, people do not think about the risk they are putting on these
> birds in the field or online. I know for a fact that these birds are chased
> around every year based on current eBird reports with photographers
> traveling from surrounding states for a chance to photograph these awesome
> birds. So with this being said, I strongly urge everyone to refrain from
> posting Owls to eBird or hiding these species from your checklists. Maybe
> Greg has some thoughts or suggestions on this or how you can edit lists in
> order to hide these sensitive species.. There have been other reliable
> roosting locations that do not exist anymore because of continuous flushing
> and disturbance.. It’s really such a shame that these things happen.
>
> Anyway, please keep this in mind in the future and please be sure to
> mention something to those you see using unethical approach.
> If you see something, say something...
>
> Happy Birding,
> Stefan Martin
> Stratford (for the month)
> _______________________________________________
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>
--
Mary-Beth Kaeser
Owner, Horizon Wings
9 Sand Hill Rd
Ashford Ct 06278
860-429-2181 860-481-0525
www.horizonwings. <http://www.horizonwings.net>org
" The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the
way its animals are treated." - Gandhi
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This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
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