[Tweeters] Northern Hawk Owl Update

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Mon Feb 8 10:21:32 PST 2016


Hi Tweets - Some news to report on the Hawk Owl incident: First, I received the following update from Christy Nielson of Okanogan: 'Yesterday (2/5) I drove up to Cassimer Bar Road and found that the home owner has razed the abandoned building and chopped down every tree in the vicinity where the owl was found, then set it all alight into a smoldering pile.' Today I spoke with the USFWS enforcement officer with whom I'd been communicating on the case, and he confirmed Christie's report. He says that the joint investigation by several agencies (feds, tribe) has gone very well, and the case is now in the court system. (He said that they usually end up with a dead bird and no supporting evidence.) But for the bird getting hung up in the tree, we would all have thought - oh well, the just bird moved on. In this case, the autopsy and site investigations pretty much confirmed the sequence of events as documented by on-site observations of the birding community (special thanks to Sandy Schreven, Tom Mansfield, and Christy). I'm thinking that the actual punishment handed down by the courts won't matter so much as the fact that the individual in question has been held accountable and the broader community is aware that there are consequences from this sort of behavior. But again - we need to be sure our behavior around private property does nothing to trigger this sort of reaction. Happy Birding - it's spring!! - Jon Houghton, Edmonds



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