[Tweeters] Snowy Owl etiquette

Rolan Nelson rnbuffle at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 9 09:53:27 PST 2012

Guy,   Put me down for $10.
Tweets,   PEOPLE!!  How many times do we need to go over this?  If, as I suspect, those crowding the owls are not Tweeter Readers, then perhaps we all need to take it upon ourselves to speak to those violators, in the field, at the time.
Any thoughts?

Rolan Nelson
Fircrest, WA
rnbuffle at yahoo.com

--- On Mon, 1/9/12, Guy McWethy <lguy_mcw at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Guy McWethy <lguy_mcw at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Snowy Owl etiquette
To: "Christine Southwick" <clsouth at u.washington.edu>, "tweeters at uw.edu" <tweeters at uw.edu>
Date: Monday, January 9, 2012, 9:43 AM

Well, as always, it only takes a few individuals to make a mess of things for the rest of us.
And many of these problems are due to simple ignorance.
If everyone going out there is aware of the issue, we may even manage to police ourselves ....
Any thoughts about placing a sign out on Damon Point? 
All the folks viewing the owls have to walk out thru there, and would notice a big sign:
"Snowy Owls Present on Damon Point.
Please do not approach within 100 feet of the owls.
Please do not disturb or flush the owls.
If they are flushed, they burn extra energy, and can easily die of starvation.
Please allow the rest of us to enjoy the owls as well"
I bet we could get the folks on Tweeters to chip in some $$ to get a sign made up quickly.
I'll pledge $20 as a start ...
Heck, a sheet of plywood and some paint would be enough to start ....
Anyone out there have any ideas about who to contact for permission to post a sign?  Do we need any?
Heck, talk to the owners of the campground there, to place it on that edge.  They might be amenable to some good publicity ..
Instead of just complaining, lets do something.

Guy McWethy
Renton, WA
mailto: lguy_mcw at yahoo.com

From: Christine Southwick <clsouth at u.washington.edu>
To: tweeters at uw.edu
Sent: Monday, January 9, 2012 9:14 AM
Subject: [Tweeters] Snowy Owl etiquette

Saturday, I and some friends went to Damon Point at Ocean Shores --(parking is along a curve--with no good signage).  Walk was about two miles each way to where the owls were.
We saw three, but had been told that there were at least six seen that morning.

Two were heavily marked, one was almost white--maybe an adult?  But was hard to see because of all the people crowding around it.

It was great to see these beautiful birds;
it was not great to see the over-eager people who were vying for the best possible photo and crowding these owls.

As we were walking toward the area of these owls, I saw two different owls who had been pressured into flying, wasting valuable calories, to get away from people, who then moved toward where they settled.  One of these owls flew again, so it was obviously disturbed.

  The third owl decided not to move, so people kept moving closer.  Since I wouldn't go any closer because of my concern for the owls, I could only guess at the distance, but from where I stood, they (at least four, with three others about 100 feet) couldn't have been more than 50 feet from the owl, and maybe even closer. One of my friends said 25 feet...

If we, as the birding community don't monitor ourselves, and show by example, who will be loooking out for the welfare of birds out of their normal habitat?  Must we diminish their chances of survival by competition of who has the best picture?  Loving them to death is still death.

Christine Southwick
N Seattle/Shoreline
clsouthwick at q.com

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