Date: 11/11/21 8:09 pm
From: Chuck Imbergamo <imbercj...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Snowy Owl - Topic close please
Fellow CT Birders -

Regarding Snowy Owl posts in general and the bird in Stratford in particular, we have heard a number of viewpoints about birding etiquette, photographers, intervention for bad human behavior and more. And the latest email from Kevin brings up another point: How can a bird find food when it is constantly on-guard for danger?

I do take issue with those who may doubt the amount of pressure that this bird has been under – I have had numerous reports of encroachment from several people off-list, in person and on the phone. These were not about human emotions projected on the animal, nor were they speculation about the health of the bird. Plain and simple, they were about people, mainly photographing the bird, getting too close and flushing it, causing it to fly and waste its energy.

No matter our differences, I think we can agree that pressuring a Snowy Owl is not what we want. Many have pointed out that we, as birders, need to try to educate non-birding photographers and others who don’t understand their impacts on birds, and again I think we can all agree on that. Behind the scenes myself and others from the COA are working with DEEP to try to come up with a long-term solution, perhaps a distance guideline as suggested by Charlie. There is a really good precedent for that – the closing of nesting areas for Piping Plovers and other shorebirds, and it’s not a big leap to create some distance guidelines for Snowy Owls.

At this point, I think the Snowy Owl discussion on this list has gone as far as it needs to, and I respectfully ask that we close this topic.

Please refrain from further comments on the list for now. I welcome your comments off-list.

Thank you!

Chuck Imbergamo
CT Birds Moderator

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