Date: 3/11/21 4:30 pm
From: Bill Stout <stoutw...>
Subject: [wisb] Re: Reporting nest sites
Hi Tom,
I decided to forward my email to you to the entire group because I believe that a good number of people do not understand the perspective of a researcher. In fact, some even may be considered hypocritical (e.g., Madison Eagle Nest Watch seems to depend on volunteers to REPORT and MONITOR eagle NEST LOCATIONS for them, but they are dead set against anyone reporting nests to anyone else). I have read several other viewpoints that also seem one-sided or perhaps uninformed. It is certainly not my intent here to offend anyone; however, I am not so naive as to think that this won't happen. Nevertheless, it is not my intent.

Most Sincerely,
Bill Stout
Ashippun, USA

My email to Tom on Wednesday in response to his post:

Thanks for your insights, Tom, as I greatly appreciate them. I just wanted you to know that I am very conservative in my work when it comes to alerting others of nest sights. I do not list locations such as on eBird or report locations to anyone. However, as an educator, if someone is very interested in the birds or if a nest is in the immediate vicinity of their home, I work to provide them with a "one of a kind" educational experience.

Last year I did not accommodate the general public and followed the North American Bird Banding Council recommendations for bird banding in the time of a COVID-19 pandemic (with the exception of one of the fist Great Horned Owl sites as it was before recommendations were out). This year will be more complicated as we try to move back to a new normal during this time. Nevertheless, I will be very cautious.

Thanks again for your post.

Sincerely,
Bill Stout
Ashippun, USA

William E. Stout

________________________________
From: Bill Stout <stoutw...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 12:58 PM
To: <sykes...> <sykes...>
Subject: Re: [wisb] Reporting nest sites

Thanks for your insights, Tom, as I greatly appreciate them. I just wanted you to know that I am very conservative in my work when it comes to alerting others of nest sights. I do not list locations such as eBird or report locations to anyone. However, as an educator, if someone is very interested in the birds or if a nest is in the immediate vicinity of their home, I work to provide them with a "one of a kind" educational experience.

Last year I did not accommodate the general public and followed the North American Bird Banding Council recommendations for bird banding in the time of a COVID-19 pandemic (with the exception of one of the fist Great Horned Owl sites as it was before recommendations were out). This year will be more complicated as we try to move back to a new normal during this time. Nevertheless, I will be very cautious.

Thanks again for your post.

Sincerely,
Bill Stout
Ashippun, USA

William E. Stout

________________________________
From: <wisbirdn-bounce...> <wisbirdn-bounce...> on behalf of Tom Sykes <sykes...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 10:43 AM
To: Wisbirdn <wisbirdn...>
Subject: [wisb] Reporting nest sites

From time to time the issue of reporting bird nests appears on the list. And while there is some disagreement about whether or not a nest site is or is not being disturbed by human presence, I would direct you to both the ABA Birding Ethics and WSO Birding Ethics sites as a reminder for those wondering about the ethics of reporting a nest site. WISBIRDN subscribes to following both.

https://wsobirds.org/about-wso/code-of-ethics

https://www.aba.org/aba-code-of-birding-ethics/

It is true that many reports of nesting raptors appear on eBird as well as many other listservs and Facebook pages. Citizen Science is a great tool but it is also used by a few unethical people. People who donít care about disturbing birds in order to get ďthe perfect shotĒ, or, people who would traffic in birds. Even curious onlookers. Fortunately, these people are in a minority. But they are out there.

Itís also one thing for one or two people to observe a nest but consider a report in an urban area when many people arrive at the same time - as with the eagle nest recently reported in Walworth city. Birds may be intimidated. Or not. The problem is, itís usually too late to reverse the damage when itís found to be they are disturbed.

Some years ago an eagle nest was reported in Horicon Marsh. Fish and Wildlife staff closed off the immediate area although the nest could be observed at some distance. The eagles were successful. There have been eagle nests up and down the Fox River near Appleton easily seen by anyone who wishes to observe at a safe distance. The same with many lakes in the northern part of the state.

I happened to volunteer at a wildlife refuge in Florida for five months where a Bald Eagle had set up a nest and produced young. Although the nest was quite high, we roped off the area to prevent disturbing the nest site. These birds were quite skittish whenever anyone approached the base of the tree. A local member of the Audubon Society objected claiming the birds were not at all disturbed and was subsequently banned from the refuge when he ignored the roped off area and had gone so far as to fly a drone toward the nest to get video. And this was the local president of an Audubon chapter!

It all boils down to using common sense and taking into consideration the particular situation. Just because one raptor nest doesnít appear to be troubled by human activity, doesnít necessarily apply to another raptor nest. Great care should be taken when reporting a sighting. If in doubt, donít report.

Tom Sykes
Wisbirdn List Owner
<sykes...>




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