[Tweeters] Upcoming Vancouver visit-- Spotted Owls?

Wayne C. Weber contopus at telus.net
Sat Dec 11 14:35:39 PST 2004

Doug, Lilian and Tweeters,

I believe Bruce Whittington's response came off sounding harsher than
he intended it to. He is quite correct that Spotted Owls are
critically endangered in BC. He seemed to be pointing a finger at
"visiting birders" for being responsible for unnecessary disturbance
to Spotted Owls. Whether it is visiting birders or local birders that
are causing problems is irrelevant--  the prime concern should be
protection and conservation of the owls. As a biologist who has done
some research on Spotted Owls, I can assure you that all the
disturbance ever caused by birders is negligible in comparison with
the twin factors of habitat loss (logging) and Barred Owl competition.

The Northern Spotted Owl is endangered or threatened throughout its
range-- in biological terms, never mind the legal status. However,
there are a lot more Spotted Owls in Washington than in BC, and a lot
more in Oregon than in Washington. I'm not sure if anyone is leading
trips to see or hear Spotted Owls, but I think it would be feasible to
do so without excessive disturbance to the birds.  However, approval
from the US Fish & Wildlife Service would be a "must" for such trips.
Visiting birders who want to see or hear Spotted Owls should not
expect to be individually guided to Spotted Owl locations, but might
be able to join a group. Similar approaches have been used for birders
wanting to see Sage Grouse in Washington or Kirtland's Warblers in
Michigan. Last year, several trips to see Spotted Owls were scheduled
at the ABA convention in Eugene, OR. The cooperation and leadership
of USF&WS staff was essential to the success of these trips, and was
greatly appreciated by all.

In a nutshell, BC is not the place to look for Spotted Owls. They are
much easier to find, and less severely threatened, in Oregon,
California, and Arizona.

A final note-- for anyone looking for birds in the Vancouver, BC area,
I strongly recommend the "Birder's Guide to Vancouver and the Lower
Mainland", a 240-page book published in 2001 and available from ABA

Good luck and good birding,

Wayne C. Weber
Vancouver, BC
contopus at telus.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Bruce Whittington <fieldnat at pacificcoast.net>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 8:24 AM
Subject: [Tweeters] Upcoming Vancouver visit

The information I have as of a couple of weeks ago is that the latest
estimate is there are only 8 breeding pairs of Spotted Owls left in
BC, many if not all threatened by government policy on logging
at least two companies have voluntarily stopped logging in SPOW
home range). At least one of those pairs has been put off its nest in
recent years by visiting birders. If ABA birders have any shred of
responsibility (and most do) they will leave the Spotted Owls alone.
Our governments are not protecting them, so it is up to us.

Bruce Whittington
Ladysmith, BC
mailto: fieldnat at pacificcoast.net


----- Original Message -----
From: Doug Wassmer & Lilian Saul <dwassme1 at tampabay.rr.com>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 6:36 AM
Subject: [Tweeters] RFI Upcoming Vancouver Visit April 2005


We are ABA 700+ birders who will be visiting Vancouver BC area during
first week of April 2005. We are hoping to find someone who can lead
us to a
Spotted Owl. Any information would be appreciated.

Doug Wassmer & Lilian Saul

Tampa, FL

Dwassme1 at tampabay.rr.com

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