Date: 11/10/21 5:22 am
From: Melani Lust <melanilust...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Re: Bird Photograpy - A Polite Request
Thank you, I appreciate your efforts. Sensitive status I think is necessary
as the problem continues to worsen. Protecting the birds is the #1 priority.

Warm wishes,

Melani

"Photos that look how your memories feel."


www.melanilustphotography.com

<melanilust...>

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Melani has won "Best Wedding Photographer" 12 years in a row, 2010- 2021,
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On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 8:07 AM Matthew <mjbell1214...> wrote:

> Just an update to everyone on the current state of the owl:
>
> Photos have always been banned in the “Connecticut Birds” Facebook group,
> and I’ve also temporarily banned them in the “Connecticut Audubon
> Bird/Nature Photos” group. I admin both groups, and they have a combined
> 20k members. Working on getting “Connecticut Nature Lovers” to do something
> as well, but it’s hard when the admins aren’t active.
>
> Yesterday (11/9) a Long Beach resident called the cops on birders who she
> claimed harassed her and shouted at her after she unknowingly walked past
> it when avoiding the crowd. Someone threatened to “throw her into the
> Sound” if she didn’t leave the beach immediately. She said that the cops
> said that if it happens again they would make arrests.
>
> Photos I’ve seen posted recently from some Connecticut photographers show
> the bird with squinted eyes, raised head, and drooped wings. A sign that
> Christine from A Place Called Hope agrees is not of a healthy bird, and
> that the constant harassment is beginning to get to it. Hopefully she can
> get permission from DEEP to rescue and relocate the bird.
>
> I’ve already been sent photos today of people surrounding the bird on all
> sides, extremely close. This bird is giving birders a terrible rep.
>
> Greg, I think it’s worth reaching out to eBird and see if they can make
> Snowy Owl a sensitive species in Connecticut. Hide all exact locations and
> reports, just like they do for Great Gray and Northern Hawk owls in other
> states. I know they can selectively do it, as they’ve done it for
> Short-eared Owls doing breeding season in NY.
>
> -Matt Bell
> Vernon
>
> > On Nov 8, 2021, at 21:59, Chuck Imbergamo <imbercj...> wrote:
> >
> > Thank you Charlie and the others who have replied on and off-list in
> support of the owl.
> >
> > Most seem to agree that being ~30 feet away is unnecessary; even a
> relatively inexpensive zoom-enabled digital camera could get a decent shot
> of this bird from 3 times that distance. And most birders with scopes are
> happy to share the view with others. Why get closer when you can see the
> bird well from where you stand?
> >
> > We cannot know what bothers or doesn’t bother the birds, and just
> because one sticks around doesn’t mean that all is well. It might be, but
> why should we push the envelope? Owls that sit in the open can be
> vulnerable in some circumstances, and Snowy Owls are highly conspicuous and
> prone to hunker down, so if they can be approached the question comes down
> to how close is TOO close?
> >
> > I think the question remains unanswered for now, but I want to remind
> all that the American Birding Association has a code of ethics and birders
> should familiarize themselves with it:
> https://www.aba.org/aba-code-of-birding-ethics/
> >
> > Right from that code is the following: “Always exercise caution and
> restraint when photographing, recording, or otherwise approaching birds.”
> >
> > Caution and restraint - just like Charlie exemplified photographing his
> Snowy in Alaska...we can all take a lesson from that!
> >
> > Chuck Imbergamo
> > CT Birds Moderator
> > Madison
> >
> > From: Charlie Bostwick
> > Sent: Monday, November 8, 2021 3:49 PM
> > To: Chuck Imbergamo
> > Cc: Larry Havey; ctbirds@lists ctbirding. org
> > Subject: Re: [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
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> >>
> >>
> >> 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/

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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