[Tweeters] Owls, Malheur, Birders and the American Flag

Mickey Pilatti mickeypilatticb at gmail.com
Mon Jan 18 22:08:11 PST 2016

First it’s a tragic loss that the Hawk Owl was killed. If the landowner did
it, hopefully he will be prosecuted. Good comments from JoAnn Andrews,
Roger Moyer, Jason Hernandez, Bob Pearson, Barbara Deihl etc

Reality is there is a possibility that the birding community could have
“contributed” to irritation by the land owner and that led to the bird
being killed. This isn’t the first time that rare birds in the owl and
raptor categories have been affected by birders. There was the Caracara and
the landowner there and that bird disappearing (but hopefully safely).
There was the Long-eared Owl found dead after being overwhelmed by birders
(perhaps stress contributed to that death, who knows, but maybe it would
have survived with less impacts). There was a Burrowing Owl surrounded by
birders in Everett I believe. There were all the incidents of birders and
photographers getting to close to the Snowy Owls at Boundary Bay and I
think Ocean Shores too.

Why – often to get a bird on their damn list. Why – often to get some
closer or different angle picture. Yeah a person has a right to view and
photograph a bird on a public road (I saw the American flag waving from
those comments).

Tweeters is good to share reports of birds, but is it the best for all
birds and all cases? Cases that come to mind are when there are issues with
landowners and the safety of the bird and birders could be jeopardized and
when birds are on private land and the landowner doesn’t want the public to
access that land. As we all know, Owls are disappearing and are a sensitive
species – maybe Owls shouldn’t be “advertised” based on numerous incidents
that have adversely affected them. The same is true with some rare raptors
and of course with other birds active in nesting.

For some reason, there is this need to get birds on these meaningless
lists, like the lists have some super value. No one cares about your list,
probably not even those people important in your life. When you’re gone,
all your list will be is paper to recycle. It’s good to enjoy birds and
birding but no one really cares if it’s the Xth bird on your list. My point
is there are some birders that will do anything to get a new bird on their
list. Maybe some sensitive birds shouldn’t have their exact location
spelled out. If it has to be on a list, maybe it should just be listed for
the entire county.

Then there is the thing that for some reason birders have to announce it to
the world that they have seen this rare sensitive bird. Maybe some bird
reports of sensitive birds should just be kept quiet. But some birders seem
to have to report no matter what whether it is for self-glory or to return
the favor to a fellow bird buddy. For me some of the most rewarding birds I
have seen are the ones I find myself. Anyone can chase birds and it doesn’t
take a lot of skills to see a bird already found (yeah sometimes you have
to refind them)

On comment about how long birders hung around. I don’t believe the poster
meant specifically an individual birder, but perhaps the accumulative time
of multiple birders perhaps impacting the bird or irritating the landowner.
If the first birder would have just kept the bird to himself, maybe it
would have survived.

As far as the comments on blame and shame, maybe there is some. We don’t
really know for sure, but Im willing to bet the birding community has
created at least some negative impacts on some birds in some cases just so
that someone can get it on their damn list or a photo. Even if you have a
high number of birds seen on a list, there are many birders way better than
you. Even though you have a good photo, there are thousands of photos
already of most species. What matters is what a person does for the current
survival and future survival of our birds. They are the true birders –
others are just listers and photographers. If all we have are lists and
photos and our grandkids get to see primarily house sparrows, starlings and
Eurasian collared Doves.

If a landowner is irrational or a threat to bird or doesn’t want you there
– maybe its better to stop going there, stop reporting it and change the
location in reports

Was there trespass? Did people still take pictures? Did someone say
something to the landowner that irritated him? Who knows, perhaps,
possibly, maybe/maybe not, but some birders aren’t always the supreme nice
beings that some posts seem to think they are

On the comment about that we are civilized, well yes and no, if we were so
civilized the birds wouldn’t be disappearing and planet environment being

On the comment about that there shouldn’t be comments on the Malheur.
Wildlife refuges are some of the gems of remaining bird habitat, without
them things like tweeters will eventually disappear as well as our birds

My point and my opinion is birds first, lists and photos are secondary and
maybe the reporting of some rare sensitive species need to be reduced,
maybe its better to just try to find a rare bird yourself. But I doubt this
will happen, too many are on a self power trip of birding and Im betting
there will be another future report in tweeters about some other demise of
another sensitive specie. Just my opinion and Im guessing many disagree

Mickey Pilatti
Olympia WA
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