Date: 11/8/21 12:49 pm
From: Charlie Bostwick <bostwick.charlie...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Re: Bird Photograpy - A Polite Request
Thanks Chuck! Agree - “... we have to find a balance, tipped in favor of the birds.”!

It’s easy to temporarily forget the pure joy of birds that got most of us into this when we start thinking about a great photo or a county/state/ABA tick or whatever the other meaningful motivators might be for each of us. I know I have to remind myself sometimes.

It’s also easy to forget that the birds don’t exist for us to exploit. Their greatest meaning is in there own existence and their place in a fragile ecosystem.

I wonder if we can all agree on some sort of standard quantifiable distance and observation time for a large raptor so as to remove some of the subjectivity and judgement, and therefore more easily hold each other accountable? When I was in remote Alaska last month, I got (with no bias haha) amazing Snowy Owl pictures from over 100’ away, and then moved away within five minutes. I did this after carefully evaluating from a distance the best angle and light so I could be done and move away quickly. If the bird looked agitated, I could have moved on without photos - in favor of the bird. Even then, I hope I didn’t scare away in potential prey for the bird.

Birders sometimes get a bad wrap from other environmentalists. Almost every birder I know is also a staunch environmentalist and I would like to see our reputation as such improve.

Good birding all!

Charlie

> On Nov 8, 2021, at 11:54 AM, Chuck Imbergamo <imbercj...> wrote:
>
> 
> Hi Charlie – that is a fair question and I don’t think anyone knows the answer. What I hope we can all agree on is that people pressuring a bird by getting too close is not what we want.
>
> A week ago I asked that people refrain from posting on this board when a bird might be accessible, and happily that has not happened since with this bird. But I’m sure photos of it are on many social media forums by now. The problem as I see it is that there are those who will upset or flush a bird because they don’t understand birds well enough, and they can’t read the agitated behavior.
>
> It’s a good thing that owls are not bears!
>
> I am all for access to see great birds, but we have to find a balance, tipped in favor of the birds.
>
> As an aside to all: Charlie is the #1 birder in the United States. I hope he is not offended by the comments of #7,559…!!
>
> Chuck Imbergamo
> CT Birds Moderator
> Madison
>
> From: Charlie Bostwick
> Sent: Monday, November 8, 2021 2:19 PM
> To: Chuck Imbergamo
> Cc: Larry Havey; ctbirds@lists ctbirding. org
> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Re: Bird Photograpy - A Polite Request
>
> What would be considered a safe distance for a Snowy Owl?
>
> > On Nov 8, 2021, at 11:16 AM, Chuck Imbergamo <imbercj...> wrote:
> >
> > All – Since hearing reports of people getting too close to a Snowy Owl last week, I have been working with Kathy Van Der Aue of the COA to see whether we can get help (CT DEEP, EnCon, USFWS, etc.) when these situations spin out of control.
> >
> > I will post when we have information to share, but given the situation happening now I am personally following up on this.
> >
> > Stay tuned.
> >
> > Chuck Imbergamo
> > CT Birds Moderator
> > Madison
> >
> > From: Larry Havey
> > Sent: Monday, November 8, 2021 1:49 PM
> > To: ctbirds@lists ctbirding. org
> > Subject: [CT Birds] Bird Photograpy - A Polite Request
> >
> > This is a general plea requesting that those seeking to photograph certain
> > birds, particularly birds drawing crowds of birders, be willing to exercise
> > some added restraint and accept a somewhat less than perfect photo in
> > exchange for the greater good of both the bird and your fellow birders. A
> > crowd of 20 people ~30 feet from a Snowy Owl was at the very least a
> > constant distraction to the owl this morning. Whether or not the bird was
> > stressed is beyond my ability to determine, so I will not even speculate.
> > But every movement, every noise from that many people at such a close
> > distance repeatedly commanded the owl's attention.
> >
> > This is an entirely polite ask, and not intended to stir up yet more debate
> > or to condemn photographers in any way. So let's all avoid doing either of
> > these things. I enjoy your photographs as much as anyone, but I'd still
> > appreciate them all the same if you gave birds in these particular
> > situations a bit more space.
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Larry Havey
> > Bethel, CT
> >
> > CTBirds, a service of Connecticut Ornithological Association - Bringing birders together statewide. Please support COA: https://www.ctbirding.org/join-us/
> > CTBirds is for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For list rules and subscription information visit: https://www.ctbirding.org/birds-birding/ct-birds-email-list/
> >
> >
> > CTBirds, a service of Connecticut Ornithological Association - Bringing birders together statewide. Please support COA: https://www.ctbirding.org/join-us/
> > CTBirds is for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For list rules and subscription information visit: https://www.ctbirding.org/birds-birding/ct-birds-email-list/
>

CTBirds, a service of Connecticut Ornithological Association - Bringing birders together statewide. Please support COA: https://www.ctbirding.org/join-us/
CTBirds is for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For list rules and subscription information visit: https://www.ctbirding.org/birds-birding/ct-birds-email-list/
 
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