[Tweeters] Spotted Owl Nest Site Rumor

Mansfield, Tom tom.mansfield at klgates.com
Tue Aug 3 04:52:40 PDT 2010

Hey Tweets - I was contacted yesterday by the Forest Service concerning the federally protected Spotted Owl that we were taken to see by a Forest Service biologist on a field trip during the Washington Ornithological Society ("WOS") Conference last June. (My photos are on the WOS photographers website page and on the cover of the current WOS News.) The Forest Service representative accused me of using a GPS device - while the biologist who led us to the owl nesting site was not looking - to record the exact location. This is blatantly untrue - I certainly did not carry a GPS device on the hour-long trek up a steep hillside with no trail to the nest (which, sadly, had failed since the biologist's last visit) and then surreptitiously mark the location. After further discussion with the Forest Service representative, she acknowledged that her information was "a fourth-hand rumor" and she accepted my denial but it continues to bug me that, if a rumor is out there in Tweeterdom, I am being accused wrongly. Hence, this post. All field trip participants to see the Spotted Owl (which turned out to be a 13-year old male per his bands) had been cautioned by the biologist before the arduous hike not to share the exact location or return to the site - no worries on that front! And anyone who knows me or has birded with me understands that I am not a "gadget guy" who has the savvy to record the location if I was clever enough to figure out how to get the GPS device out of my vehicle's dashboard. Thanks,

Tom Mansfield in Seattle

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