[Tweeters] Northern Hawk Owl - Okanogan County

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 8 07:24:39 PST 2016

Dear Loren and Tweeters,
Thanks to Loren for bringing this out. I have a bee in my bonnet over this idea that one may be prohibited from photographing things, or even looking at things, in "the land of the free and the home of the brave." 
The security people at Tesoro Refinery (March Point) keep coming over to birders and warning them not to photograph or look at the refinery. It's along a public road. I can barely keep a civil tongue when I hear their spiel.
I don't even care what the law says on this matter. In the words of Thoreau, "It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." It would not surprise me if our bought-and-paid-for legislators wrote a law "protecting" the country from photographers and people who look through optics. 
This all reminds me of my time in Pinochet's Chile, when there were signs all over the place depicting a camera with a red line drawn through it. The country was being kept "safe" from photographers, courtesy of a murderous regime propped up by our own CIA.
All of that being said--yes, it is wise to steer clear of angry, confused residents who feel threatened by people looking at their space.
Yours truly,
Gary  Bletsch

From: Loren Mooney <loren.mooney at gmail.com>
To: Carol Riddell <cariddellwa at gmail.com>
Cc: Tweeters <Tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2016 9:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Northern Hawk Owl - Okanogan County

As a photographer, I'm troubled by the home owner's demand that no pictures be taken.  If a photographer is in a public place, including a public road, then they can take pictures of almost anything they can see, including birds and buildings.   That's the law, subject to national security limitations, and his house doesn't qualify as a national security risk.   The home owner owns property.  He does not own the photons that bounce off his property into your scope or your camera.  

Here is a link to a "layman's" explanation about the relevant photography laws.   A lot of people don't know these laws so it's a good read.    http://content.photojojo.com/photo-technique/tips/legal-rights-of-photographers/

Now, having said all that, I agree with Carol.  DO NOT trespass in order to see the bird or take a picture.  That is *not* okay and the home owner is completely within his rights to tell you not to do *that*.  

If you're not trespassing, and you're just taking pictures or looking at a bird, and anyone threatens you or threatens to call the police, call them yourself. 


On Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 3:04 PM, Carol Riddell <cariddellwa at gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks to Meredith Spencer for providing the information below. Cassimer Bar Access Road is public. The land on either side of the road is private. The hawk owl can be seen from the road. There is no excuse for trespassing to see this owl. If you are planning a trip over to Brewster to see it, please conduct your observation according to good birding ethics. We don’t need upset homeowners who can easily feel intruded upon. For the most part, you can see this owl without even getting out of your car.
Carol RiddellEdmonds
merdave at homenetnw.net merdave at homenetnw.net 
Wed Jan 6 15:29:36 PST 2016

Hi, The N. Hawk Owl is still near the same place on Cassimir Bar. Three 
of us were looking at it from a distance with scope and binocular. The 
gentleman who lives in the yellow house drove down to us. He asked what 
we were doing and we explained. He said scope and binocular were okay but 
he did not want any pictures taken of his property! I told him they prob. 
only had the bird and a tree branch in their photo, but he repeated, no 
photos of my property. He owns the abandoned brown building that is east 
of his home. He said people walked in his drive way and took photos, and 
walked in to the other building and never even asked if they could go on 
his property!!! We offered to let him look at the bird through the scope, 
but he declined. He didn't seem mad, just firm. Meredith Spencer, 
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Loren Mooney
Seattle, Washington
Mooney Images

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