[Tweeters] Re: McKay's Bunting Pile of Feathers

Scott Downes downess at charter.net
Thu Feb 16 13:25:51 PST 2012

Wanted to add a "food for thought" comment on the Damon Point bunting and owls. I'll be the first to admit that some people can not obey by guidelines and rules, birders and photographers are no different than the general public in that regard. However, as I was hiking out Damon Point and back on Sunday I encountered several family groups that were going out to observe the owls. For the same reason that zoos can serve as environmental education, telling people about unique wildlife situations and educating them can do wonders for people actually caring about species conservation. So, yes we need to be careful to make sure that wildlife being reported are not harassed unduly. I do however believe that a little human interaction with a few members of a species is well worth the added attention to those few individuals of that species in the long run. People care about things they have a connection to. I think much of the press that the current Snowy Owl invasion has gotten across the U.S. has educated many and the wonderful suite of photos taken by so many photographers has led to a wonderment in many that may not even have known what a Snowy Owl was before. Same can be said of a McKay's bunting. Upon local press of the bunting, I bet quite a few local residents tried to learn where this bird came from and where it normally would be.

To second Ryan Shaw's post on vagrants being frequently targeted species; there are more examples than any of us have time for here in naming where a vagrant was proven or suspected in being taken by a predator.

Scott Downes
downess at charter.net
Yakima WA

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