[Tweeters] minimizing harassment of Swallow-tail Gull,
while possibly taking a boat to see it
ecostewart at gmail.com
Sun Sep 3 13:01:29 PDT 2017
While I was pleased to hear Trileigh Tucker's concern about possible excess
harassment of the gull, and I don't want to encourage any excess
harassment, I would like to offer my angle on how to get closer to, while
minimizing harassment of, an animal. I also have no experience with
whale-watching boats, so I don't know what they do, but could easily
imagine that, as they are doing this as a business, and as many people are
not sufficiently concerned about the effects of their wildlife watching
pursuit on the animals, some might indeed be excessively harassing those
Since I was a young butterflier and herpetologist, then birder, I figured
out that I could get closer to butterflies, snakes and lizards, then birds,
then any animal, if, without ever moving directly towards it, I would
slowly and casually zig-zag closer to any animal I tried to get close to.
As I was always on foot, I would also largely avoid looking directly at the
animal. (I described the avoidance of eye contact on my Tweeters post -
subject "Western Screech Owl perhaps" - a day or two ago, as I walked under
a low perched Barred Owl in Lincoln Park, without it leaving the perch.)
If one was on a boat, eye contact and faces directed towards an animal,
would be of minimal concern, but it would seem that a casual speed, with no
direct movements towards the animal, would be appropriate.
There are a lot of boats in the sound, so I don't imagine that one more
boat would be a problem, if it wasn't moving too quickly, or directly,
towards the gull. That said, if it became multiple boats, I could imagine
that having them grouped on one side, rather than surrounding the gull,
would scare the gull less.
I welcome input of others about what might be appropriate, or
inappropriate, considering the interests of the gull.
I might add, that while I have a service called "Stewardship Adventures",
pretty much all of the "adventures" I have led, have been nature walks of
one or two hours in Seattle city parks, mostly for family and school
groups, not out of town trips to see rare animals.
206 932-7225 (currently only land)
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