[Tweeters] Re: Hawk Owl's Demise

Jason Hernandez jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 10 20:22:30 PST 2016

I will second Roger's thoughts. We must remember that wildlife does not exist for us to look at; it exists for itself, and a quite legal act may not be in the wildlife's best interest. It can be something as simple as where I walk: Evergreen Rotary Park is a public place, and walking dogs there is allowed as long as the dogs are leashed. But the wigeons can't tell if a dog is leashed or not. So as I approach the park with my dog, I look to see if the wigeons are on the water or on the lawn. If on the water, I go ahead; but if on the lawn, I go someplace else that will keep my dog and me away from them, because if they take alarm and fly to the water to get away from the dog, I have interrupted their grazing, and made it that much harder for them to balance their energy budget for the day. I gladly accept this slight inconvenience out of respect for the birds' needs.
Certainly, if I was anywhere with a local culture actively hostile to wildlife -- which will be pretty much anywhere in cattle country -- I would do my utmost to avoid drawing attention to the presence of wildlife near human habitations.
Jason Hernandez
jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com

Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2016 06:50:36 +0000
From: Roger Moyer <rogermoyer1 at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Tweeters] Hawk Owl's Demise
To: "tweeters at u.washington.edu" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
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What I say here will probably create a firestorm but I feel it needs to be brought into this discussion.  I believe the birding community bears a modicum of responsibility for this birds demise.
I've been birding the better part of 40 years and being a lister and a small time chaser I understand the desire to see these types of rarities and add them to your lists. I've even been in the position of the birders after this owl.  I've stopped on the public right of way to watch a bird and had a land owner get upset with me when I didn't move on.

It is reprehensible that the bird was killed if it indeed was shot by the land owner. However, if we birders didn't hang around for long periods of time when the land owner really didn't want all the attention the bird would still be alive.  I would further expect that there were some photographers who still hauled out their cameras even though the land owner expressly asked people not to. Causing just that much more angst.  To often we birders only look to our wants and not the desires of those around is. When this is done it can sometimes have dire consequences.  In the future it might be a good idea to pay more attention to the desires of the land owners and not stop for long periods of time.  Just because one can legally do something doesn't mean on should. Above all else we should remember one of the primary rules of birding, "the welfare of the bird needs to come first."

Roger Moyer
Charlotte, NC

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