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Updated on Tuesday, January 24 at 05:51 PM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Eastern Meadowlark,©Julie Zickefoose

24 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [LNO/MWA ]
24 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [Linda Elliott ]
24 Jan RE: feeder birds [Sean Hatch ]
24 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [deb powers ]
24 Jan RE: feeder birds [Bruce Bartrug ]
24 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [John Wyatt & Debbie Ryan ]
24 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [Sara Fleming ]
24 Jan Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Justin Lawson ]
24 Jan Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! ["'Derek and Jeannette Lovitch' via Maine birds" ]
23 Jan Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Mark Szantyr ]
24 Jan Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Kristen Lindquist ]
23 Jan Fwd: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Mark Szantyr ]
23 Jan Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Rob O'Connell ]
24 Jan Fw: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! ["'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds" ]
23 Jan RFI S California -- reply off list [Craig Kesselheim ]
23 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [RALPH ELDRIDGE ]
22 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Andrea Bean ]
23 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [Jim Toulouse ]
23 Jan Decreased Birds at feeder [Denise Johnson ]
23 Jan Re: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [Stella Walsh ]
23 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [deb powers ]
23 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder ["'Barbara' via Maine birds" ]
23 Jan Re: Decreased Birds at feeder [David Small ]
23 Jan Decreased Birds at feeder [Donald Tucker ]
23 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Seth Davis ]
23 Jan Black vulture [Robin R Robinson ]
22 Jan Good birds in the Pineo Point area of Harrington [Merle and Anne Archie ]
22 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! [Aletha Boyle ]
22 Jan Portland: Thick-billed Murre... [Josh Fecteau ]
22 Jan Pacific Loon ["Bob Duchesne" ]
22 Jan Downeast birding [Sandi ]
22 Jan Great Gray Owl- Yes [Justin Lawson ]
22 Jan Rockland Pink-Footed Geese yes [Rafael Adams ]
21 Jan Short-eared Owl at Reid State Park [Gordon Smith ]
21 Jan Scarborough [Linda Elliott ]
21 Jan Fwd: Zeiss spotting scope lens cap Yarmouth [Raven Watcher ]
21 Jan Zeiss spotting scope lens cap Yarmouth [Raven Watcher ]
21 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl [Nathan Hall ]
22 Jan Fw: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! ["'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds" ]
21 Jan Rockland Pink-Footed Geese yes [Rafael Adams ]
22 Jan Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!! ["'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds" ]
21 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl [Linda Powell ]
21 Jan Acadia Ocean Path [LNO/MWA ]
20 Jan Re: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [Mark Szantyr ]
20 Jan Re: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [Justin Lawson ]
19 Jan Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [John Lorenc ]
19 Jan Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [Andrea Bean ]
19 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl -- no [Josh Fecteau ]
19 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl [Rich MacDonald ]
19 Jan Great Gray Owl [Bob Crowley ]
19 Jan Snow buntings ["'Henry Donovan' via Maine birds" ]
19 Jan Royal River Yarmouth - Barrow's Goldeneye [Stella Walsh ]
19 Jan Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [David Lipsy ]
19 Jan Re: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [Sharon F. ]
19 Jan Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [Seth Davis ]
19 Jan Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [mresch8702 via Maine birds ]
19 Jan Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding [Sally Blauvelt ]
18 Jan On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding ["'Derek Lovitch' via Maine birds" ]
18 Jan pink on white [Don and Sherry Reimer ]
18 Jan bohemians [Sarah Caputo ]
18 Jan Belfast Bay census of Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2016 [Ronald Harrell ]
17 Jan King Eider still present 1/17 [Erin Lehnert ]
17 Jan Bullock's oriole [Janet Galle ]
17 Jan Sharpie - Bar Harbor 17 Jan [Carol Muth ]
17 Jan RE: Great Grey in Skowhegan ["Sean Smith" ]
17 Jan Great Gray Owl - Stud Mill Rd. [John Wyatt & Debbie Ryan ]
17 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17 [Maggie Strickland ]
17 Jan Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan [Scott Cronenweth ]
17 Jan RE: Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17 ["Sean Smith" ]
17 Jan Re: Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17 ["'Jennifer Cummings' via Maine birds" ]
17 Jan Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17 [Doug Hitchcox ]
17 Jan RE: Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan [Jeff Wells ]
17 Jan RE: Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan ["Sean Smith" ]
17 Jan Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan [Sean Hatch ]
17 Jan Re: Re: Great Gray Skowhegan [Sharon F. ]
17 Jan Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan [Andrew Block ]

Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: LNO/MWA <marka AT maine.edu>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:42:52 -0800 (PST)
Holden numbers similar to recent years -- chickadees, nuthatches (both WB 
and RB), downy and hairy woodpeckers, mourning doves, a pair of Cardinals, 
goldfinches off and on, Brown Creeper -- what we don't see at all any more 
are Siskins, Redpolls, Grosbeak, Tufted Titmouse...

On Monday, January 23, 2017 at 12:20:38 PM UTC-5, Donald Tucker wrote:
>
> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has 
> been in decades.  Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice.  Never 
> been this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding.  What are other 
> people seeing?
>

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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: Linda Elliott <lindae1136 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:49:53 -0800 (PST)
I live in Scarborough and have to refill my feeder every couple of days due to 
the high number of birds. Species as follows: Numerous bluebirds, two pairs of 
cardinals, lots of goldfinches, chickadees, dark eye juncos, numerous small 
woodpeckers, a few blue jays, lots of mourning doves and a northern flicker. 

I get my food at Wild Birds Unlimited and feed a blend mixed with dried meal 
worms, with a side of suet. 


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Subject: RE: feeder birds
From: Sean Hatch <seanarih AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:18:51 -0800 (PST)
Same here in Wiscasset. Had a large charm of goldfinches here today. 20+
Very busy today. Titmice, jays, woodpeckers, juncos, doves and nuthatchs. At 
least 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches are daily visitors as well. But they live 
nearby I think because they're year round here anyway. 


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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: deb powers <dmp2ec AT comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:56:42 -0800 (PST)
So I believe that my theory is right..lol, today after the three inches of 
snow and lots of ice my feeders have been the busiest that I have seen in a 
while,great to see!

On Monday, January 23, 2017 at 12:20:38 PM UTC-5, Donald Tucker wrote:
>
> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has 
> been in decades.  Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice.  Never 
> been this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding.  What are other 
> people seeing?
>

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Subject: RE: feeder birds
From: Bruce Bartrug <bbartrug AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 15:42:26 -0500
In Nobleboro I still have to refill two tube feeders every other day.  If
the goldfinches every come back this winter (others in the area still have
them as they roam around) it may be every day.  Birds are the same species
as usual....Parids of two species, cardinals, doves, nuthatches, jays, some
juncos, an occasional tree sparrow, three species of woodpeckers.  Birds do
move around a lot in winter.


-- 
Bruce Bartrug
Nobleboro, Maine, USA
bbartrug AT gmail.com
www.brucebartrug.com

•The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but
because of those who look on and do nothing.  - Albert Einstein
•In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence
of our friends. -Martin Luther King

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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: John Wyatt & Debbie Ryan <birdsnbeads AT roadrunner.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:20:42 -0500
Here in Winterport the feeder activity has seemed fairly normal overall. Some 
species up, some down. So far this year, there have been few finches but I 
would say more Blue Jays and robins. The robins are not really feeder birds but 
a flock of several dozen has been coming by the yard quite often. The really 
noticeable standout this winter has been the American Tree Sparrows. There were 
a whopping 32 at our feeder this morning as the sleet was coming down. I 
believe this is a high count for me at a single spot. And, as is typical, zero 
Great Gray Owls at the feeder. 


Good Birding,
John


On Jan 24, 2017, at 11:58 AM, Sara Fleming  wrote:

> In N. Windham/Gorham area and our feeder activity has been very busy. Usual 
species- cardinals, tufteds, tons of chickadees, mourning doves, white-breasted 
nuthatches, blue jays, and a good variety of downy and hairy woodpeckers. 
Occasionally have pileated or red bellied woodpeckers. We are in a pretty 
wooded, rural spot, so not sure if that makes a difference. 

> 
> On Monday, January 23, 2017 at 12:20:38 PM UTC-5, Donald Tucker wrote:
> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has been 
in decades. Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice. Never been this 
low in the 30 years of my year round feeding. What are other people seeing? 

> 
> -- 
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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: Sara Fleming <smfleming79 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:58:52 -0800 (PST)
In N. Windham/Gorham area and our feeder activity has been very busy. Usual 
species- cardinals, tufteds, tons of chickadees, mourning doves, 
white-breasted nuthatches, blue jays, and a good variety of downy and hairy 
woodpeckers. Occasionally have pileated or red bellied woodpeckers. We are 
in a pretty wooded, rural spot, so not sure if that makes a difference.

On Monday, January 23, 2017 at 12:20:38 PM UTC-5, Donald Tucker wrote:
>
> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has 
> been in decades.  Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice.  Never 
> been this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding.  What are other 
> people seeing?
>

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Subject: Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Justin Lawson <justindlawson AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:24:36 +0000
I guess tone doesnt come through online. Although people who know me would
understand. I am a massachusetts birder and post all my sightings and many
rarities to the listserv, ebird, and facebook groups (which i run for
central mass). bottom line is go see a bird:the bird and enjoy it. if you
see someone throwing a rock or object at the bird say something. use common
sense. its that simple. you cant tell people what side of a road to stand
on or park  you cant tell them what angle they can view the bird (360
coverage should be obvious to not do). by no means are any of us bird
police (well maybe a couple). i had my 9 year old with me and he was beyond
estatix seeing his number 1 lifer. he got a little loud with cheer. then i
had to say to him to not be to loud so he didnt end up on an email chain.
how pathetic is that? he gained national attention for his little big year
in 2014 and was sponsored by Zeiss.  his blog was greatgreyowen.blogspot.com.
interviewed by many newspapers. as you can see by his screename he loves
great gray owls. here he was 3 years later after the blog and 5 years after
learning about birds staring a his favorite bird. only 5 people at the time
saw it (my family) till later. yet here he was being told to not be loud
and stop dancing all because of this email. that is the complete opposite
of what our community should be about. like i said. if its illegal say
something if not then just deal with being annoyed. how annoying do you
think it is when we are enjoying a bird alone and the birds being so
peaceful then have 17 cars of birders jump out its annoying. not illegal.
its the way it is.

always more than one side of a story. sorry for my tone however principal
is the same.



On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 11:57 AM Derek and Jeannette Lovitch <
freeportwildbird AT yahoo.com> wrote:

> Whoa! What just happened here!?
>
> How is this even remotely helpful or constructive? While several different
> opinions have been expressed on the listserve, they have been done so
> respectfully and while trying to help others, the bird, and the situation -
> regardless of which "side" people are on.
>
> But apparently, these days we can't even have a conversation about birding
> without someone getting offended that people disagree with them and flying
> off the handle. This is completely unnecessary, completely
> counter-productive, and completely off-putting. It's just the type of
> response that leads to people not bothering to contribute to the birding
> community, post rarities, open their homes, or share sightings. And EXACTLY
> why I don't share sightings of owls and other sensitive species, to the
> detriment of the majority - as I wrote about earlier.
>
> Tone is hard to judge from email. While several other posts could be
> interpreted as sarcastic, passive-aggressive, or even downright mean, there
> is no question what the tone is here.
>
> As for the actual points raised here, it seems a waste of time to address
> them - whether pro or con - if this is the type of response someone would
> receive if they disagreed. Please take your own advice and try and have a
> conservation like an adult. Your opinion would be much more likely to be
> heard and respected.
>
> Respectfully, but rather disgusted at the moment,
> Derek
>
> P.S. I also can't help but note how many strong opinions have been
> expressed here by people who don't otherwise contribute at all to the
> listserve  -finding, reporting, posting (including negative reports), or
> otherwise participating. Until it comes time where someone's perceived
> right to see every bird is called into question. Just sayin' a little
> leading by example might be in order. But that's just my opinion.
>
> *****************************************
>  Derek and Jeannette Lovitch
>  Freeport Wild Bird Supply
>  541 Route One, Suite 10
>
>  Freeport, ME 04032
>
>  207-865-6000
>
>  www.freeportwildbirdsupply.com
>
>
>
>  ****************************************
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Justin Lawson 
>
> *To:* Andrea Bean ; Maine birds <
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
> *Cc:* voodoochitlins AT yahoo.com
> *Sent:* Monday, January 23, 2017 8:20 PM
>
>
> *Subject:* Re: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
>
> the owl is fine and has been eating. calm down. if the bird wasnt eating
> it would be gone by now. hop on ebird and see photos of it eating and
> please stop trying to be the bird police to adults. what you should be
> focusing on if you wanna play detective is the locals that have a shooting
> range right behind where the owl was on sunday. a photographer that was
> there actually talked to them and asked them if they could please not shoot
> today at that location and they complied. there were numerous locals that
> seemed annoyed. worry about them shooting it so all us outsiders stop
> coming around. id say be careful with taking photos of people and their
> cars. i saw that happen last year in NYC while birding and the person got
> their ass beat for being a bird superhero. there are laws. if a person
> wants to walk on the other side of the street (literally 10 feet) they can.
> you exposing them for being legal makes you look like a fool. are they an
> asshole getting to close? sure if you wanna call them that but its not
> illegal. never forget. birds can fly. if they are pissed and unhappy there
> are 1000s of fields and marshes up there. its staying because its getting
> food and feels safe. bottom line. if people wanna protect birds please get
> a job application from the Maine's Warden service and imstead of the
> facebook bird group snitch. now go find some good birds !
> On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 8:08 PM Andrea Bean  wrote:
>
> This is so upsetting to hear.  When I was there Friday, other than the
> Audobon van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there.  After seeing
> the owl, we left after about 35 minutes.   No one went off of the road and
> kept their distance.  What has been concerning me is I've not seen any
> photos of this owl eating.  I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and
> that people were chasing it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to
> the road, obviously trying to hunt.  Short of trying to plead with people
> to please give this owl space, is there anything else that can be done?  I
> myself would suggest taking their photos and posting them publicly but I
> know a lot of people aren't comfortable doing that.  This is extremely
> distressing news.  Will this owl be OK?
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
>
> To all birders and photographers,
>
> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the
> word out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate
> that I had the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was
> somewhat tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not
> respecting the bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most
> important thing).
>
> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I
> know and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the
> roads that have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines
> run. The owl obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the
> cleared area. This is where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to
> my knowledge) stayed behind their cars that were also parked on the side of
> the road opposite the cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that
> was present obeyed that rule that this relatively tame species of owl would
> have no problem with it.
>
> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud
> Mill Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute
> before, the bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars
> lined opposite the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but
> there was a man in the woods heading towards the direction in which the
> bird apparently flushed and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods
> set up in and adjacent to the cleared area. This is NOT okay!
>
> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several
> minutes, but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's
> side of the road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually
> became a lineup of 8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird
> every time it flushed! Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of
> this, however.
>
> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at
> the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in
> their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl
> from both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as
> they could. From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded
> practically 360 degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird
> like this more than significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite
> frankly confuses the heck out of it! This should be obvious.
>
> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this
> bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or
> anything else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there
> are other birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or
> on their way that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance.
> Sometimes the best photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't
> ruin it for everyone else!
>
> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for
> much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it
> the space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to
> survive.
>
> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless
> absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)!
>
> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
> Noah Gibb-Freeport
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
> Maine birds mailing list
>
>
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>
>
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>
>
> ---
>
>
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>
>
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>
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>
>
> --
> Justin Lawson
> Worcester, MA
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
> Maine birds mailing list
>
>
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>
>
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>
>
> ---
>
>
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
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>
>
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>
>
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>
>
> --
Justin Lawson
Worcester, MA

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Subject: Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: "'Derek and Jeannette Lovitch' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:57:29 +0000 (UTC)
Whoa! What just happened here!?
How is this even remotely helpful or constructive? While several different 
opinions have been expressed on the listserve, they have been done so 
respectfully and while trying to help others, the bird, and the situation - 
regardless of which "side" people are on. 

But apparently, these days we can't even have a conversation about birding 
without someone getting offended that people disagree with them and flying off 
the handle. This is completely unnecessary, completely counter-productive, and 
completely off-putting. It's just the type of response that leads to people not 
bothering to contribute to the birding community, post rarities, open their 
homes, or share sightings. And EXACTLY why I don't share sightings of owls and 
other sensitive species, to the detriment of the majority - as I wrote about 
earlier.  

Tone is hard to judge from email. While several other posts could be 
interpreted as sarcastic, passive-aggressive, or even downright mean, there is 
no question what the tone is here.  

As for the actual points raised here, it seems a waste of time to address them 
- whether pro or con - if this is the type of response someone would receive if 
they disagreed. Please take your own advice and try and have a conservation 
like an adult. Your opinion would be much more likely to be heard and 
respected.  

Respectfully, but rather disgusted at the moment,Derek 
P.S. I also can't help but note how many strong opinions have been expressed 
here by people who don't otherwise contribute at all to the listserve 
 -finding, reporting, posting (including negative reports), or otherwise 
participating. Until it comes time where someone's perceived right to see every 
bird is called into question. Just sayin' a little leading by example might be 
in order. But that's just my 
opinion.  ***************************************** Derek and Jeannette 
Lovitch Freeport Wild Bird Supply 541 Route One, Suite 10 Freeport, ME 
04032 207-865-6000 www.freeportwildbirdsupply.com   
 **************************************** 


 
      From: Justin Lawson 
 To: Andrea Bean ; Maine birds 
 

Cc: voodoochitlins AT yahoo.com
 Sent: Monday, January 23, 2017 8:20 PM
 Subject: Re: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
   
the owl is fine and has been eating. calm down. if the bird wasnt eating it 
would be gone by now. hop on ebird and see photos of it eating and please stop 
trying to be the bird police to adults. what you should be focusing on if you 
wanna play detective is the locals that have a shooting range right behind 
where the owl was on sunday. a photographer that was there actually talked to 
them and asked them if they could please not shoot today at that location and 
they complied. there were numerous locals that seemed annoyed. worry about them 
shooting it so all us outsiders stop coming around. id say be careful with 
taking photos of people and their cars. i saw that happen last year in NYC 
while birding and the person got their ass beat for being a bird superhero. 
there are laws. if a person wants to walk on the other side of the street 
(literally 10 feet) they can. you exposing them for being legal makes you look 
like a fool. are they an asshole getting to close? sure if you wanna call them 
that but its not illegal. never forget. birds can fly. if they are pissed and 
unhappy there are 1000s of fields and marshes up there. its staying because its 
getting food and feels safe. bottom line. if people wanna protect birds please 
get a job application from the Maine's Warden service and imstead of the 
facebook bird group snitch. now go find some good birds ! 

On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 8:08 PM Andrea Bean  wrote:

This is so upsetting to hear.  When I was there Friday, other than the Audobon 
van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there.  After seeing the owl, 
we left after about 35 minutes.   No one went off of the road and kept their 
distance.  What has been concerning me is I've not seen any photos of this owl 
eating.  I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and that people were 
chasing it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to the road, obviously 
trying to hunt.  Short of trying to plead with people to please give this owl 
space, is there anything else that can be done?  I myself would suggest taking 
their photos and posting them publicly but I know a lot of people aren't 
comfortable doing that.  This is extremely distressing news.  Will this owl 
be OK? 






On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
To all birders and photographers,
First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the word 
out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate that I had 
the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was somewhat 
tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not respecting the 
bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most important thing). 

From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I know and 
birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the roads that have 
the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines run. The owl 
obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the cleared area. This is 
where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to my knowledge) stayed 
behind their cars that were also parked on the side of the road opposite the 
cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that was present obeyed that 
rule that this relatively tame species of owl would have no problem with it.  

When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud Mill Rd 
after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute before, the 
bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars lined opposite 
the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but there was a man in 
the woods heading towards the direction in which the bird apparently flushed 
and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods set up in and adjacent to the 
cleared area. This is NOT okay! 

Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several minutes, 
but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's side of the 
road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually became a lineup of 
8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird every time it flushed! 
Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of this, however.  

Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at the 
intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in their 
cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl from both 
roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as they could. From 
a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded practically 360 
degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird like this more than 
significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite frankly confuses the heck 
out of it! This should be obvious. 

Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or anything 
else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there are other 
birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or on their way 
that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. Sometimes the best 
photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't ruin it for everyone 
else! 

I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for much 
of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it the 
space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to survive. 


Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless absolutely 
necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)! 

Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!Noah 
Gibb-Freeport 







 

















-- 


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https://sites.google.com/site/birding207


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-- 
Justin Lawson 
Worcester, MA
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Subject: Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Mark Szantyr <birddog55 AT charter.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:39:04 -0500
I know the ABA code, having been a member for nearly 40 years, but there seems 
to be plenty of confusion or vaguery about where to park where not to park, 
where to stand, where not to stand, what land is public, what land is private, 
who has authority over what, etc. 


I know this is all being done with the best wishes for the bird but am just 
wondering, before i drive the 6 hours north, if there isn't a bit of 
over-protective shepherding going on. Hey. I have seen it happen down here for 
less spectacular birds. 


Mark Szantyr

"He's not my President"



> On Jan 23, 2017, at 11:15 PM, Kristen Lindquist  
wrote: 

> 
> There are no "rules" to follow, just calls of various magnitude for bird 
observers to use common sense. Lest this topic thread degenerate into something 
akin to the comment thread of a political post in these troubled times, I share 
here a link to the American Birding Association's Code of Birding Ethics and 
gently encourage that each of us to read them and take them to heart for the 
good of all birds, not just rare or cool ones: 

> 
> http://listing.aba.org/ethics/
> 
> Let's all play nicely, birders, do right by our birds, and do the Maine 
birding community proud. 

> 
> Kristen
> 
> 
>> On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 11:04 PM Mark Szantyr  wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> 
>>> I have been following the discussion of the conditions for viewing the 
Great Gray Owl and since i have been considering coming up to see and 
photograph the bird,I wonder if a concise list of the viewing rules and rules 
for access can be posted. There has been so much back and forth of opinion 
about what is best for the bird, i don't want to be in violation. 

>>> 
>>> For the record, i have seen three of these birds in my life and two have 
had pretty good crowds around them. One of them was more remote and there were 
only three of us around. We seemed of no consequence to the bird though a 
calling Red-tail had its interest. 

>>> 
>>> Mark Szantyr
>>> 
>>> "He's not my President"
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Jan 23, 2017, at 10:38 PM, Rob O'Connell  wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Spent the day up there looking and did not find the bird. Checked all the 
usual spots mentioned in ebird and other sources to no avail. A Barred owl was 
hunting the power lines beyond the shooting range which was active in the 
afternoon. There were a dozen or more other cars with birders and photographers 
alike and to my knowledge no one located the bird at all. 

>>>> 
>>>> Thank you, 
>>>> Rob O'Connell
>>>> 
>>>>> On Jan 23, 2017, at 9:07 PM, 'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds 
 wrote: 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Hi all,
>>>>> 
>>>>> I apologize for starting this thread and had asked for it not to 
continue, but it did. I might as well add one more thing at this point though 
and that is that the most important thing here is the bird. That is why we all 
have gone up there? To see the bird? 

>>>>> 
>>>>> I just wanted to help lay down some ground rules since the initial 
requests made prior to mine apparently were not followed by some. And wanted to 
remind everyone why we drove to Milford. To see a Great Gray Owl which is a 
remarkable privilege and we owe it to that bird to give it space. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> I did not intend to sound like all photographers on Saturday were 
overstepping their bounds, but because 1 or 2 did, the photographers that 
showed up after joined that group and made a wall of people that may have been 
too close to the birds hunting territory. So let's all just try to respect this 
awesome bird and set an example to others that may show up after you. Let's not 
be selfish and worry about getting that amazing photo if it may interfere with 
the bird in any way. If the bird lands right next to you and you get a once in 
a lifetime opportunity, GREAT!! But if you look around a minute later and see 
the bird is surrounded 270 degrees by 30 other people, it may be time to start 
backing off. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> I'm sure most everyone that has gone up has been on their best behavior, 
but we ALL need to be on our best behavior and remember this beautiful bird is 
why we are there. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Thanks for listening!
>>>>> Noah Gibb_Freeport, Maine
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Monday, January 23, 2017 8:20 PM, Justin Lawson 
 wrote: 

>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> the owl is fine and has been eating. calm down. if the bird wasnt eating 
it would be gone by now. hop on ebird and see photos of it eating and please 
stop trying to be the bird police to adults. what you should be focusing on if 
you wanna play detective is the locals that have a shooting range right behind 
where the owl was on sunday. a photographer that was there actually talked to 
them and asked them if they could please not shoot today at that location and 
they complied. there were numerous locals that seemed annoyed. worry about them 
shooting it so all us outsiders stop coming around. id say be careful with 
taking photos of people and their cars. i saw that happen last year in NYC 
while birding and the person got their ass beat for being a bird superhero. 
there are laws. if a person wants to walk on the other side of the street 
(literally 10 feet) they can. you exposing them for being legal makes you look 
like a fool. are they an asshole getting to close? sure if you wanna call them 
that but its not illegal. never forget. birds can fly. if they are pissed and 
unhappy there are 1000s of fields and marshes up there. its staying because its 
getting food and feels safe. bottom line. if people wanna protect birds please 
get a job application from the Maine's Warden service and imstead of the 
facebook bird group snitch. now go find some good birds ! 

>>>>> On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 8:08 PM Andrea Bean  wrote:
>>>>> This is so upsetting to hear. When I was there Friday, other than the 
Audobon van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there. After seeing the 
owl, we left after about 35 minutes. No one went off of the road and kept their 
distance. What has been concerning me is I've not seen any photos of this owl 
eating. I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and that people were chasing 
it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to the road, obviously trying to 
hunt. Short of trying to plead with people to please give this owl space, is 
there anything else that can be done? I myself would suggest taking their 
photos and posting them publicly but I know a lot of people aren't comfortable 
doing that. This is extremely distressing news. Will this owl be OK? 

>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
>>>>> To all birders and photographers,
>>>>> 
>>>>> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the 
word out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate that I 
had the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was somewhat 
tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not respecting the 
bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most important thing). 

>>>>> 
>>>>> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I 
know and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the roads 
that have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines run. The 
owl obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the cleared area. This 
is where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to my knowledge) stayed 
behind their cars that were also parked on the side of the road opposite the 
cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that was present obeyed that 
rule that this relatively tame species of owl would have no problem with it. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud 
Mill Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute before, 
the bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars lined 
opposite the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but there was a 
man in the woods heading towards the direction in which the bird apparently 
flushed and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods set up in and 
adjacent to the cleared area. This is NOT okay! 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several 
minutes, but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's side 
of the road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually became a 
lineup of 8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird every time it 
flushed! Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of this, however. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right 
at the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in 
their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl from 
both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as they could. 
From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded practically 360 
degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird like this more than 
significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite frankly confuses the heck 
out of it! This should be obvious. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on 
this bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or 
anything else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there are 
other birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or on 
their way that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. Sometimes 
the best photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't ruin it for 
everyone else! 

>>>>> 
>>>>> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl 
for much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it 
the space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to 
survive. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless 
absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)! 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
>>>>> Noah Gibb-Freeport
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>>  
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Maine birds mailing list
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> --- 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> Justin Lawson 
>>>>> Worcester, MA
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Maine birds mailing list
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> --- 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -- 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Maine birds mailing list
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> --- 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com. 

>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> 
>> 
>> Maine birds mailing list
>> 
>> 
>> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>> 
>> 
>> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>> 
>> 
>> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>> 
>> 
>> --- 
>> 
>> 
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

>> 
>> 
>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com. 

>> 
>> 
>> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
>> 
>> 
> 
> -- 
> Kristen Lindquist Website: kristenlindquist.com Haiku blog: 
www.klindquist.blogspot.com 

> -- 
> Maine birds mailing list
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
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> --- 
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Subject: Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Kristen Lindquist <kelindquist AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 04:15:41 +0000
There are no "rules" to follow, just calls of various magnitude for bird
observers to use common sense. Lest this topic thread degenerate into
something akin to the comment thread of a political post in these troubled
times, I share here a link to the American Birding Association's Code of
Birding Ethics and gently encourage that each of us to read them and take
them to heart for the good of all birds, not just rare or cool ones:

http://listing.aba.org/ethics/

Let's all play nicely, birders, do right by our birds, and do the Maine
birding community proud.

Kristen


On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 11:04 PM Mark Szantyr  wrote:

>
>
>
>
>  I have been following the discussion of the conditions for viewing the
> Great Gray Owl and since i have been considering coming up to see and
> photograph the bird,I wonder if a concise list of the viewing rules and
> rules for access can be posted. There has been so much back and forth of
> opinion about what is best for the bird,  i don't want to be in violation.
>
> For the record, i have seen three of these birds in my life and two have
> had pretty good crowds around them. One of them was more remote and there
> were only three of us around. We seemed of no consequence to the bird
> though a calling Red-tail had its interest.
>
> Mark Szantyr
>
> "He's not my President"
>
>
>
> On Jan 23, 2017, at 10:38 PM, Rob O'Connell  wrote:
>
> Spent the day up there looking and did not find the bird. Checked all the
> usual spots mentioned in ebird and other sources to no avail. A Barred owl
> was hunting the power lines beyond the shooting range which was active in
> the afternoon. There were a dozen or more other cars with birders and
> photographers alike and to my knowledge no one located the bird at all.
>
> Thank you,
> Rob O'Connell
>
> On Jan 23, 2017, at 9:07 PM, 'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds <
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> I apologize for starting this thread and had asked for it not to continue,
> but it did. I might as well add one more thing at this point though and
> that is that the most important thing here is the bird. That is why we all
> have gone up there? To see the bird?
>
> I just wanted to help lay down some ground rules since the initial
> requests made prior to mine apparently were not followed by some. And
> wanted to remind everyone why we drove to Milford. To see a Great Gray Owl
> which is a remarkable privilege and we owe it to that bird to give it
> space.
>
> I did not intend to sound like all photographers on Saturday were
> overstepping their bounds, but because 1 or 2 did, the photographers that
> showed up after joined that group and made a wall of people that may have
> been too close to the birds hunting territory. So let's all just try to
> respect this awesome bird and set an example to others that may show up
> after you. Let's not be selfish and worry about getting that amazing photo
> if it may interfere with the bird in any way. If the bird lands right next
> to you and you get a once in a lifetime opportunity, GREAT!! But if you
> look around a minute later and see the bird is surrounded 270 degrees by 30
> other people, it may be time to start backing off.
>
> I'm sure most everyone that has gone up has been on their best behavior,
> but we ALL need to be on our best behavior and remember this beautiful bird
> is why we are there.
>
> Thanks for listening!
> Noah Gibb_Freeport, Maine
>
>
>
>
> On Monday, January 23, 2017 8:20 PM, Justin Lawson <
> justindlawson AT gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> the owl is fine and has been eating. calm down. if the bird wasnt eating
> it would be gone by now. hop on ebird and see photos of it eating and
> please stop trying to be the bird police to adults. what you should be
> focusing on if you wanna play detective is the locals that have a shooting
> range right behind where the owl was on sunday. a photographer that was
> there actually talked to them and asked them if they could please not shoot
> today at that location and they complied. there were numerous locals that
> seemed annoyed. worry about them shooting it so all us outsiders stop
> coming around. id say be careful with taking photos of people and their
> cars. i saw that happen last year in NYC while birding and the person got
> their ass beat for being a bird superhero. there are laws. if a person
> wants to walk on the other side of the street (literally 10 feet) they can.
> you exposing them for being legal makes you look like a fool. are they an
> asshole getting to close? sure if you wanna call them that but its not
> illegal. never forget. birds can fly. if they are pissed and unhappy there
> are 1000s of fields and marshes up there. its staying because its getting
> food and feels safe. bottom line. if people wanna protect birds please get
> a job application from the Maine's Warden service and imstead of the
> facebook bird group snitch. now go find some good birds !
> On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 8:08 PM Andrea Bean  wrote:
>
> This is so upsetting to hear.  When I was there Friday, other than the
> Audobon van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there.  After seeing
> the owl, we left after about 35 minutes.   No one went off of the road and
> kept their distance.  What has been concerning me is I've not seen any
> photos of this owl eating.  I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and
> that people were chasing it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to
> the road, obviously trying to hunt.  Short of trying to plead with people
> to please give this owl space, is there anything else that can be done?  I
> myself would suggest taking their photos and posting them publicly but I
> know a lot of people aren't comfortable doing that.  This is extremely
> distressing news.  Will this owl be OK?
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
>
> To all birders and photographers,
>
> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the
> word out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate
> that I had the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was
> somewhat tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not
> respecting the bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most
> important thing).
>
> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I
> know and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the
> roads that have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines
> run. The owl obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the
> cleared area. This is where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to
> my knowledge) stayed behind their cars that were also parked on the side of
> the road opposite the cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that
> was present obeyed that rule that this relatively tame species of owl would
> have no problem with it.
>
> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud
> Mill Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute
> before, the bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars
> lined opposite the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but
> there was a man in the woods heading towards the direction in which the
> bird apparently flushed and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods
> set up in and adjacent to the cleared area. This is NOT okay!
>
> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several
> minutes, but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's
> side of the road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually
> became a lineup of 8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird
> every time it flushed! Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of
> this, however.
>
> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at
> the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in
> their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl
> from both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as
> they could. From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded
> practically 360 degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird
> like this more than significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite
> frankly confuses the heck out of it! This should be obvious.
>
> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this
> bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or
> anything else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there
> are other birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or
> on their way that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance.
> Sometimes the best photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't
> ruin it for everyone else!
>
> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for
> much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it
> the space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to
> survive.
>
> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless
> absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)!
>
> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
> Noah Gibb-Freeport
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
> Maine birds mailing list
>
>
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>
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>
>
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>
>
> ---
>
>
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
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>
>
> --
> Justin Lawson
> Worcester, MA
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
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> Maine birds mailing list
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> --
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> Maine birds mailing list
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> ---
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> --
Kristen Lindquist Website: kristenlindquist.com Haiku blog:
www.klindquist.blogspot.com

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Subject: Fwd: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Mark Szantyr <birddog55 AT charter.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:04:48 -0500


> 
> I have been following the discussion of the conditions for viewing the Great 
Gray Owl and since i have been considering coming up to see and photograph the 
bird,I wonder if a concise list of the viewing rules and rules for access can 
be posted. There has been so much back and forth of opinion about what is best 
for the bird, i don't want to be in violation. 

> 
> For the record, i have seen three of these birds in my life and two have had 
pretty good crowds around them. One of them was more remote and there were only 
three of us around. We seemed of no consequence to the bird though a calling 
Red-tail had its interest. 

> 
> Mark Szantyr
> 
> "He's not my President"
> 
> 
> 
>> On Jan 23, 2017, at 10:38 PM, Rob O'Connell  wrote:
>> 
>> Spent the day up there looking and did not find the bird. Checked all the 
usual spots mentioned in ebird and other sources to no avail. A Barred owl was 
hunting the power lines beyond the shooting range which was active in the 
afternoon. There were a dozen or more other cars with birders and photographers 
alike and to my knowledge no one located the bird at all. 

>> 
>> Thank you, 
>> Rob O'Connell
>> 
>>> On Jan 23, 2017, at 9:07 PM, 'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds 
 wrote: 

>>> 
>>> Hi all,
>>> 
>>> I apologize for starting this thread and had asked for it not to continue, 
but it did. I might as well add one more thing at this point though and that is 
that the most important thing here is the bird. That is why we all have gone up 
there? To see the bird? 

>>> 
>>> I just wanted to help lay down some ground rules since the initial requests 
made prior to mine apparently were not followed by some. And wanted to remind 
everyone why we drove to Milford. To see a Great Gray Owl which is a remarkable 
privilege and we owe it to that bird to give it space. 

>>> 
>>> I did not intend to sound like all photographers on Saturday were 
overstepping their bounds, but because 1 or 2 did, the photographers that 
showed up after joined that group and made a wall of people that may have been 
too close to the birds hunting territory. So let's all just try to respect this 
awesome bird and set an example to others that may show up after you. Let's not 
be selfish and worry about getting that amazing photo if it may interfere with 
the bird in any way. If the bird lands right next to you and you get a once in 
a lifetime opportunity, GREAT!! But if you look around a minute later and see 
the bird is surrounded 270 degrees by 30 other people, it may be time to start 
backing off. 

>>> 
>>> I'm sure most everyone that has gone up has been on their best behavior, 
but we ALL need to be on our best behavior and remember this beautiful bird is 
why we are there. 

>>> 
>>> Thanks for listening!
>>> Noah Gibb_Freeport, Maine
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Monday, January 23, 2017 8:20 PM, Justin Lawson 
 wrote: 

>>> 
>>> 
>>> the owl is fine and has been eating. calm down. if the bird wasnt eating it 
would be gone by now. hop on ebird and see photos of it eating and please stop 
trying to be the bird police to adults. what you should be focusing on if you 
wanna play detective is the locals that have a shooting range right behind 
where the owl was on sunday. a photographer that was there actually talked to 
them and asked them if they could please not shoot today at that location and 
they complied. there were numerous locals that seemed annoyed. worry about them 
shooting it so all us outsiders stop coming around. id say be careful with 
taking photos of people and their cars. i saw that happen last year in NYC 
while birding and the person got their ass beat for being a bird superhero. 
there are laws. if a person wants to walk on the other side of the street 
(literally 10 feet) they can. you exposing them for being legal makes you look 
like a fool. are they an asshole getting to close? sure if you wanna call them 
that but its not illegal. never forget. birds can fly. if they are pissed and 
unhappy there are 1000s of fields and marshes up there. its staying because its 
getting food and feels safe. bottom line. if people wanna protect birds please 
get a job application from the Maine's Warden service and imstead of the 
facebook bird group snitch. now go find some good birds ! 

>>> On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 8:08 PM Andrea Bean  wrote:
>>> This is so upsetting to hear. When I was there Friday, other than the 
Audobon van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there. After seeing the 
owl, we left after about 35 minutes. No one went off of the road and kept their 
distance. What has been concerning me is I've not seen any photos of this owl 
eating. I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and that people were chasing 
it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to the road, obviously trying to 
hunt. Short of trying to plead with people to please give this owl space, is 
there anything else that can be done? I myself would suggest taking their 
photos and posting them publicly but I know a lot of people aren't comfortable 
doing that. This is extremely distressing news. Will this owl be OK? 

>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
>>> To all birders and photographers,
>>> 
>>> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the 
word out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate that I 
had the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was somewhat 
tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not respecting the 
bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most important thing). 

>>> 
>>> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I know 
and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the roads that 
have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines run. The owl 
obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the cleared area. This is 
where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to my knowledge) stayed 
behind their cars that were also parked on the side of the road opposite the 
cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that was present obeyed that 
rule that this relatively tame species of owl would have no problem with it. 

>>> 
>>> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud 
Mill Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute before, 
the bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars lined 
opposite the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but there was a 
man in the woods heading towards the direction in which the bird apparently 
flushed and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods set up in and 
adjacent to the cleared area. This is NOT okay! 

>>> 
>>> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several 
minutes, but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's side 
of the road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually became a 
lineup of 8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird every time it 
flushed! Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of this, however. 

>>> 
>>> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at 
the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in 
their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl from 
both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as they could. 
From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded practically 360 
degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird like this more than 
significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite frankly confuses the heck 
out of it! This should be obvious. 

>>> 
>>> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or anything 
else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there are other 
birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or on their way 
that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. Sometimes the best 
photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't ruin it for everyone 
else! 

>>> 
>>> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for 
much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it the 
space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to survive. 

>>> 
>>> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless 
absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)! 

>>> 
>>> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
>>> Noah Gibb-Freeport
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -- 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Maine birds mailing list
>>> 
>>> 
>>> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>>> 
>>> 
>>> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>>> 
>>> 
>>> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --- 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

>>> 
>>> 
>>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com. 

>>> 
>>> 
>>> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -- 
>>> Justin Lawson 
>>> Worcester, MA
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -- 
>>> Maine birds mailing list
>>> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>>> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>>> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>>> --- 
>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

>>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com. 

>>> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
>> -- 
>> Maine birds mailing list
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Subject: Re: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Rob O'Connell <flashart123 AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:38:51 -0500
Spent the day up there looking and did not find the bird. Checked all the usual 
spots mentioned in ebird and other sources to no avail. A Barred owl was 
hunting the power lines beyond the shooting range which was active in the 
afternoon. There were a dozen or more other cars with birders and photographers 
alike and to my knowledge no one located the bird at all. 


Thank you, 
Rob O'Connell

> On Jan 23, 2017, at 9:07 PM, 'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds 
 wrote: 

> 
> Hi all,
> 
> I apologize for starting this thread and had asked for it not to continue, 
but it did. I might as well add one more thing at this point though and that is 
that the most important thing here is the bird. That is why we all have gone up 
there? To see the bird? 

> 
> I just wanted to help lay down some ground rules since the initial requests 
made prior to mine apparently were not followed by some. And wanted to remind 
everyone why we drove to Milford. To see a Great Gray Owl which is a remarkable 
privilege and we owe it to that bird to give it space. 

> 
> I did not intend to sound like all photographers on Saturday were 
overstepping their bounds, but because 1 or 2 did, the photographers that 
showed up after joined that group and made a wall of people that may have been 
too close to the birds hunting territory. So let's all just try to respect this 
awesome bird and set an example to others that may show up after you. Let's not 
be selfish and worry about getting that amazing photo if it may interfere with 
the bird in any way. If the bird lands right next to you and you get a once in 
a lifetime opportunity, GREAT!! But if you look around a minute later and see 
the bird is surrounded 270 degrees by 30 other people, it may be time to start 
backing off. 

> 
> I'm sure most everyone that has gone up has been on their best behavior, but 
we ALL need to be on our best behavior and remember this beautiful bird is why 
we are there. 

> 
> Thanks for listening!
> Noah Gibb_Freeport, Maine
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Monday, January 23, 2017 8:20 PM, Justin Lawson  
wrote: 

> 
> 
> the owl is fine and has been eating. calm down. if the bird wasnt eating it 
would be gone by now. hop on ebird and see photos of it eating and please stop 
trying to be the bird police to adults. what you should be focusing on if you 
wanna play detective is the locals that have a shooting range right behind 
where the owl was on sunday. a photographer that was there actually talked to 
them and asked them if they could please not shoot today at that location and 
they complied. there were numerous locals that seemed annoyed. worry about them 
shooting it so all us outsiders stop coming around. id say be careful with 
taking photos of people and their cars. i saw that happen last year in NYC 
while birding and the person got their ass beat for being a bird superhero. 
there are laws. if a person wants to walk on the other side of the street 
(literally 10 feet) they can. you exposing them for being legal makes you look 
like a fool. are they an asshole getting to close? sure if you wanna call them 
that but its not illegal. never forget. birds can fly. if they are pissed and 
unhappy there are 1000s of fields and marshes up there. its staying because its 
getting food and feels safe. bottom line. if people wanna protect birds please 
get a job application from the Maine's Warden service and imstead of the 
facebook bird group snitch. now go find some good birds ! 

> On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 8:08 PM Andrea Bean  wrote:
> This is so upsetting to hear. When I was there Friday, other than the Audobon 
van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there. After seeing the owl, we 
left after about 35 minutes. No one went off of the road and kept their 
distance. What has been concerning me is I've not seen any photos of this owl 
eating. I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and that people were chasing 
it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to the road, obviously trying to 
hunt. Short of trying to plead with people to please give this owl space, is 
there anything else that can be done? I myself would suggest taking their 
photos and posting them publicly but I know a lot of people aren't comfortable 
doing that. This is extremely distressing news. Will this owl be OK? 

> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
> To all birders and photographers,
> 
> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the word 
out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate that I had 
the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was somewhat 
tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not respecting the 
bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most important thing). 

> 
> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I know 
and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the roads that 
have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines run. The owl 
obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the cleared area. This is 
where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to my knowledge) stayed 
behind their cars that were also parked on the side of the road opposite the 
cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that was present obeyed that 
rule that this relatively tame species of owl would have no problem with it. 

> 
> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud Mill 
Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute before, the 
bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars lined opposite 
the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but there was a man in 
the woods heading towards the direction in which the bird apparently flushed 
and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods set up in and adjacent to the 
cleared area. This is NOT okay! 

> 
> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several minutes, 
but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's side of the 
road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually became a lineup of 
8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird every time it flushed! 
Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of this, however. 

> 
> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at 
the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in 
their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl from 
both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as they could. 
From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded practically 360 
degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird like this more than 
significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite frankly confuses the heck 
out of it! This should be obvious. 

> 
> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or anything 
else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there are other 
birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or on their way 
that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. Sometimes the best 
photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't ruin it for everyone 
else! 

> 
> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for 
much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it the 
space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to survive. 

> 
> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless 
absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)! 

> 
> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
> Noah Gibb-Freeport
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> 
> Maine birds mailing list
> 
> 
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
> 
> 
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
> 
> 
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
> 
> 
> --- 
> 
> 
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

> 
> 
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com. 

> 
> 
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
> 
> 
> -- 
> Justin Lawson 
> Worcester, MA
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Maine birds mailing list
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
> --- 
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
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Subject: Fw: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: "'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 02:07:45 +0000 (UTC)
Hi all,
I apologize for starting this thread and had asked for it not to continue, but 
it did. I might as well add one more thing at this point though and that is 
that the most important thing here is the bird. That is why we all have gone up 
there? To see the bird?  

I just wanted to help lay down some ground rules since the initial requests 
made prior to mine apparently were not followed by some. And wanted to remind 
everyone why we drove to Milford. To see a Great Gray Owl which is a remarkable 
privilege and we owe it to that bird to give it space.  

I did not intend to sound like all photographers on Saturday were overstepping 
their bounds, but because 1 or 2 did, the photographers that showed up after 
joined that group and made a wall of people that may have been too close to the 
birds hunting territory. So let's all just try to respect this awesome bird and 
set an example to others that may show up after you. Let's not be selfish and 
worry about getting that amazing photo if it may interfere with the bird in any 
way. If the bird lands right next to you and you get a once in a lifetime 
opportunity, GREAT!! But if you look around a minute later and see the bird is 
surrounded 270 degrees by 30 other people, it may be time to start backing off. 

I'm sure most everyone that has gone up has been on their best behavior, but we 
ALL need to be on our best behavior and remember this beautiful bird is why we 
are there. 

Thanks for listening!Noah Gibb_Freeport, Maine



 On Monday, January 23, 2017 8:20 PM, Justin Lawson  
wrote: 

 

 the owl is fine and has been eating. calm down. if the bird wasnt eating it 
would be gone by now. hop on ebird and see photos of it eating and please stop 
trying to be the bird police to adults. what you should be focusing on if you 
wanna play detective is the locals that have a shooting range right behind 
where the owl was on sunday. a photographer that was there actually talked to 
them and asked them if they could please not shoot today at that location and 
they complied. there were numerous locals that seemed annoyed. worry about them 
shooting it so all us outsiders stop coming around. id say be careful with 
taking photos of people and their cars. i saw that happen last year in NYC 
while birding and the person got their ass beat for being a bird superhero. 
there are laws. if a person wants to walk on the other side of the street 
(literally 10 feet) they can. you exposing them for being legal makes you look 
like a fool. are they an asshole getting to close? sure if you wanna call them 
that but its not illegal. never forget. birds can fly. if they are pissed and 
unhappy there are 1000s of fields and marshes up there. its staying because its 
getting food and feels safe. bottom line. if people wanna protect birds please 
get a job application from the Maine's Warden service and imstead of the 
facebook bird group snitch. now go find some good birds ! 

On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 8:08 PM Andrea Bean  wrote:

This is so upsetting to hear.  When I was there Friday, other than the Audobon 
van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there.  After seeing the owl, 
we left after about 35 minutes.   No one went off of the road and kept their 
distance.  What has been concerning me is I've not seen any photos of this owl 
eating.  I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and that people were 
chasing it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to the road, obviously 
trying to hunt.  Short of trying to plead with people to please give this owl 
space, is there anything else that can be done?  I myself would suggest taking 
their photos and posting them publicly but I know a lot of people aren't 
comfortable doing that.  This is extremely distressing news.  Will this owl 
be OK? 






On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
To all birders and photographers,
First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the word 
out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate that I had 
the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was somewhat 
tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not respecting the 
bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most important thing). 

From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I know and 
birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the roads that have 
the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines run. The owl 
obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the cleared area. This is 
where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to my knowledge) stayed 
behind their cars that were also parked on the side of the road opposite the 
cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that was present obeyed that 
rule that this relatively tame species of owl would have no problem with it.  

When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud Mill Rd 
after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute before, the 
bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars lined opposite 
the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but there was a man in 
the woods heading towards the direction in which the bird apparently flushed 
and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods set up in and adjacent to the 
cleared area. This is NOT okay! 

Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several minutes, 
but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's side of the 
road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually became a lineup of 
8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird every time it flushed! 
Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of this, however.  

Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at the 
intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in their 
cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl from both 
roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as they could. From 
a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded practically 360 
degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird like this more than 
significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite frankly confuses the heck 
out of it! This should be obvious. 

Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or anything 
else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there are other 
birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or on their way 
that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. Sometimes the best 
photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't ruin it for everyone 
else! 

I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for much 
of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it the 
space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to survive. 


Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless absolutely 
necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)! 

Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!Noah 
Gibb-Freeport 







 

















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Subject: RFI S California -- reply off list
From: Craig Kesselheim <ckesselheim AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:53:24 -0500
Hi all -- I will be traveling to the LA area in February and would be
grateful for recommendations as to your favorite hotspots or your favorite
species. Semi-new terrain for yours truly, and I'm getting excited.

Please reply off list, and thanks.

Craig Kesselheim

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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: RALPH ELDRIDGE <lightrae1 AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:35:12 -0800 (PST)
Someone jokingly suggested that the birds have moved to Canada but I 
feel confident in saying that is not the case.
Tales of disappearing FEEDER birds are wide-spread in New Brunswick, too.
It appears that in some cases it's certain specific species and sometimes 
most all of the birds are missing.
And then there are people reporting business as usual.
I'm inclined to agree with the suggestion that wild food is still 
 generally available ....... that, and (in my opinion) more raptors than 
most winters.



On Monday, 23 January 2017 13:20:38 UTC-4, Donald Tucker wrote:

> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has 
> been in decades.  Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice.  Never 
> been this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding.  What are other 
> people seeing?
>

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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Andrea Bean <abean60 AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 14:48:34 -0800 (PST)
This is so upsetting to hear.  When I was there Friday, other than the 
Audobon van, there were only about 8 or 9 other people there.  After seeing 
the owl, we left after about 35 minutes.   No one went off of the road and 
kept their distance.  What has been concerning me is I've not seen any 
photos of this owl eating.  I did hear that Saturday was the worse day and 
that people were chasing it as it was flying from tree to tree parallel to 
the road, obviously trying to hunt.  Short of trying to plead with people 
to please give this owl space, is there anything else that can be done?  I 
myself would suggest taking their photos and posting them publicly but I 
know a lot of people aren't comfortable doing that.  This is extremely 
distressing news.  Will this owl be OK?






On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
>
> To all birders and photographers,
>
> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the 
> word out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate 
> that I had the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was 
> somewhat tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not 
> respecting the bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most 
> important thing).
>
> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I 
> know and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the 
> roads that have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines 
> run. The owl obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the 
> cleared area. This is where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to 
> my knowledge) stayed behind their cars that were also parked on the side of 
> the road opposite the cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that 
> was present obeyed that rule that this relatively tame species of owl would 
> have no problem with it. 
>
> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud 
> Mill Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute 
> before, the bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars 
> lined opposite the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but 
> there was a man in the woods heading towards the direction in which the 
> bird apparently flushed and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods 
> set up in and adjacent to the cleared area. This is NOT okay!
>
> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several 
> minutes, but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's 
> side of the road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually 
> became a lineup of 8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird 
> every time it flushed! Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of 
> this, however. 
>
> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at 
> the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in 
> their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl 
> from both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as 
> they could. From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded 
> practically 360 degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird 
> like this more than significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite 
> frankly confuses the heck out of it! This should be obvious.
>
> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
> bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or 
> anything else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there 
> are other birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or 
> on their way that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. 
> Sometimes the best photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't 
> ruin it for everyone else!
>
> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for 
> much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it 
> the space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to 
> survive.
>
> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless 
> absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)!
>
> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
> Noah Gibb-Freeport
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>  
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: Jim Toulouse <jwtmaine AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:42:20 -0500
I am in Cape Elizabeth and I would say my activity (seed/ suet usage) is
roughly half of what it was summer and fall, though the species of
birds remains pretty much the same from previous winters.  Chicakdees,
Tufted Titmice, Cardinals, woodpeckers (Hairy, Downey, Red Bellied and
Northern Flickers), WB Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens, Dark Eyed Juncos...and,
of course, Starlings, Mourning Doves and squirrels aplenty.

On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 4:00 PM, Denise Johnson  wrote:

> I'm west of Rt 95 behind Ogunquit. My feeders are sparsely busy too. We
> added a new third feeder after Xmas. Thought maybe the original two didn't
> convince as many birds to stay the winter. So has it been too warm? Maybe
> the birds are protesting the election and moved to Canada ;-) just kidding.
>
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Subject: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: Denise Johnson <dpj113 AT maine.rr.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:00:42 -0800 (PST)
I'm west of Rt 95 behind Ogunquit. My feeders are sparsely busy too. We added a 
new third feeder after Xmas. Thought maybe the original two didn't convince as 
many birds to stay the winter. So has it been too warm? Maybe the birds are 
protesting the election and moved to Canada ;-) just kidding. 


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Subject: Re: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: Stella Walsh <stellawalsh AT earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:52:31 -0500
Bingo. 

Stella

> On Jan 23, 2017, at 15:51, deb powers  wrote:
> 
> I live in south berwick, same issue, I have 5 feeders and suet and I have not 
had to fill them in two over weeks. IDK, I have never seen this either, I 
wonder if it is because they can get what they need on the ground still? 

> Deb
> 
>> On Monday, January 23, 2017 at 12:20:38 PM UTC-5, Donald Tucker wrote:
>> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has 
been in decades. Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice. Never been 
this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding. What are other people 
seeing? 

> 
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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: deb powers <dmp2ec AT comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:51:07 -0800 (PST)
I live in south berwick, same issue, I have 5 feeders and suet and I have 
not had to fill them in two over weeks.  IDK, I have never seen this 
either, I wonder if it is because they can get what they need on the ground 
still?
Deb

On Monday, January 23, 2017 at 12:20:38 PM UTC-5, Donald Tucker wrote:
>
> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has 
> been in decades.  Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice.  Never 
> been this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding.  What are other 
> people seeing?
>

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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: "'Barbara' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:43:50 -0500
One sunflower seed feeder, no suet, lots of hungry birds. Nothing unusual. One 
tree sparrow, lots of chickadees, 3 titmouse, max of 11 BlueJays, juncoes, 
goldfinches, no cardinals. A friend in Springvale says she hasn't had many 
birds. My feeder is in open front yard. 

Barbara in Sanford. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 23, 2017, at 12:20 PM, Donald Tucker  wrote:
> 
> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has been 
in decades. Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice. Never been this 
low in the 30 years of my year round feeding. What are other people seeing? 

> -- 
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Subject: Re: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: David Small <docfinsdave AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:37:53 -0500
Recently, I've had lots of juncos, many house sparrows. Four
different cardinals male and female, goldfinches. Several
house finches m & f. Black-capped chickadees and some white
breasted nuthatches. Mourning doves and an occasional hawk
swoops by. More activity here in Old Town than usual.
Cheers,
Dave

On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 12:20 PM, Donald Tucker 
wrote:

> Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has
> been in decades.  Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice.  Never
> been this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding.  What are other
> people seeing?
>
> --
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> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
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Subject: Decreased Birds at feeder
From: Donald Tucker <don35 AT myfairpoint.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:20:38 -0800 (PST)
Here in southern ME, North Berwick, feeder activity is the lowest it has 
been in decades.  Most days only one or two chickadees and titmice.  Never 
been this low in the 30 years of my year round feeding.  What are other 
people seeing?

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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Seth Davis <kd7gxf AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:05:48 -0800 (PST)
There were quite a few folks that got to see it today. I will admit I am 
guilty of not parking on the far side of the road as Noah suggests and I 
very much apologize for it. I should have read this before as I certainly 
don't want to be lumped into a crowd that harasses a bird. We were driving 
out and the bird was spotted on our right so we immediately stopped and 
took photos and scoped the bird from the near side. Outside of the small 
mob (6-8 folks) that was following the bird as it went perch to perch I 
personally felt people were pretty respectful. No one crossed into the 
brush to get closer, and at one point we got the bright idea to move down 
ahead of the owl and have the bird fly toward us, which worked for the most 
part. The only disturbances that irked me was a couple of kids in a loud 
pickup truck revving their engine and honking as all the people gawked at 
the owl (which is a separate concern with drawing too much attention of the 
locals, people have been known to shoot birds to get under the skin and 
piss off all of the people that show up...) and a separate instance where a 
person came up and was amazed, but talked really loud but eventually moved 
on. 

That said, the owl didn't seem to interested in it's following and at one 
point caught/ate a small rodent to the amazement of the crowd. So at the 
very least, it's eating despite the onlookers. Regardless, I do regret not 
keeping a further distance, I think it was a gut reaction to just stop and 
view it, but I hope I didn't contribute to any additional stress. 

On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
>
> To all birders and photographers,
>
> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the 
> word out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate 
> that I had the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was 
> somewhat tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not 
> respecting the bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most 
> important thing).
>
> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I 
> know and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the 
> roads that have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines 
> run. The owl obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the 
> cleared area. This is where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to 
> my knowledge) stayed behind their cars that were also parked on the side of 
> the road opposite the cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that 
> was present obeyed that rule that this relatively tame species of owl would 
> have no problem with it. 
>
> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud 
> Mill Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute 
> before, the bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars 
> lined opposite the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but 
> there was a man in the woods heading towards the direction in which the 
> bird apparently flushed and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods 
> set up in and adjacent to the cleared area. This is NOT okay!
>
> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several 
> minutes, but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's 
> side of the road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually 
> became a lineup of 8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird 
> every time it flushed! Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of 
> this, however. 
>
> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at 
> the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in 
> their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl 
> from both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as 
> they could. From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded 
> practically 360 degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird 
> like this more than significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite 
> frankly confuses the heck out of it! This should be obvious.
>
> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
> bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or 
> anything else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there 
> are other birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or 
> on their way that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. 
> Sometimes the best photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't 
> ruin it for everyone else!
>
> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for 
> much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it 
> the space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to 
> survive.
>
> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless 
> absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)!
>
> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
> Noah Gibb-Freeport
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>  
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

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Subject: Black vulture
From: Robin R Robinson <rrrobinson2010 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:58:53 +0000
A Black vulture has been reported in Washington county to the MAINE Birds 
Facebook group. Photo at this link 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MAINEBirds/permalink/1205541182861315/

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Subject: Good birds in the Pineo Point area of Harrington
From: Merle and Anne Archie <ravensreachme AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:18:36 -0500
We again had great looks at 9 Red Crossbills (4 very bright males) in the
spruce trees in our yard this afternoon.  We see and hear Red Crossbills
when we go for cross-country walks along the shoreline.

A female Northern Goshawk is hanging around the area - we have twice seen
it fly over Pineo Point Road as we head home.

Unusually large numbers of Black-capped Chickadees are in the area - they
are joined with Red-breasted Crossbills in large flocks in the woods.  I
timed the number of times a Black-capped Chickadee took a sunflower seed
out of the feeder station and in 4 minutes there were 65 "hits" - and this
goes on for hours!!   We gotta get another 40 pound bag tomorrow!

Merle and Anne Archie, Harrington ME

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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: Aletha Boyle <mainelypets AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:41:51 -0800 (PST)
My husband and I had plans to go to see the bird today, but I said no, 
because I thought there might be a lot of observers, and I did not want to 
contribute to that, and I had seen a Great Gray in my town a few years ago. 
 HAD I WITNESSED THOSE INDIVIDUALS CHASING THE BIRD, I would have taken 
their photographs, and called the local game warden.  This is Hugely 
disrespectful to wildlife.  There is no excuse for it.  And I would have 
posted their photos on Facebook etc.  ALL BIRDERS ALERT, DO NOT BE TOLERANT 
OF THE PSYCHOS WHO MIGHT STRESS THE BIRD!  My two cents.  Aletha

On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 9:20:00 PM UTC-5, Noah Gibb wrote:
>
> To all birders and photographers,
>
> First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the 
> word out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate 
> that I had the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was 
> somewhat tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not 
> respecting the bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most 
> important thing).
>
> From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I 
> know and birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the 
> roads that have the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines 
> run. The owl obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the 
> cleared area. This is where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to 
> my knowledge) stayed behind their cars that were also parked on the side of 
> the road opposite the cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that 
> was present obeyed that rule that this relatively tame species of owl would 
> have no problem with it. 
>
> When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud 
> Mill Rd after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute 
> before, the bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars 
> lined opposite the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but 
> there was a man in the woods heading towards the direction in which the 
> bird apparently flushed and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods 
> set up in and adjacent to the cleared area. This is NOT okay!
>
> Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several 
> minutes, but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's 
> side of the road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually 
> became a lineup of 8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird 
> every time it flushed! Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of 
> this, however. 
>
> Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at 
> the intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in 
> their cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl 
> from both roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as 
> they could. From a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded 
> practically 360 degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird 
> like this more than significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite 
> frankly confuses the heck out of it! This should be obvious.
>
> Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
> bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or 
> anything else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there 
> are other birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or 
> on their way that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. 
> Sometimes the best photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't 
> ruin it for everyone else!
>
> I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for 
> much of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it 
> the space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to 
> survive.
>
> Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless 
> absolutely necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)!
>
> Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!
> Noah Gibb-Freeport
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>  
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

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Subject: Portland: Thick-billed Murre...
From: Josh Fecteau <joshuafecteau AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:38:36 -0500
Hi all,

After seeing an eBird report yesterday of a THICK-BILLED MURRE at the
Portland Fish Pier and then receiving a heads up from Nathan Hall
early this afternoon, I decided to check it out. I arrived at 3:30pm
to find the bird alone and very close off the north side of the pier.
During the hour I was there, the bird slowly drifted upriver.

The KING EIDERS (female and immature male) continue, at least one
ICELAND GULL was with the hundreds of HERRING GULLS and GREAT
BLACK-BACKED GULLS, and I also had a MERLIN cruise by with talons
full.

Here's my full list with photos: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33870805 


--Josh

P.S. I'm leading a bird walk in Saco next Sunday (1/29). Details here:
http://joshfecteau.com/events/.

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Subject: Pacific Loon
From: "Bob Duchesne" <duchesne AT midmaine.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:18:15 -0500
Sandi and I are Downeast. There are eagles swarming all over Lubec, and many
are congregating near the lighthouse. Quoddy Head was good for quality, if
not quantity. Razorbills flew by in the distance. Murres flew by a little
closer, and turned out to be two thick-billed murres when they landed. Best
sighting was a Pacific loon. Whenever such a sighting is posted, Louis
Bevier is correct to ask for photos for this poorly-documented species. 

Now if only this danged bird had come in a little closer for a photo. It was
easy at scope range, but just a little out of range for my superzoom camera.
I observed that it was similar in size to a red-throated loon, but the
posture was unlike a typical RT. There was a distinct hint of the Pacific
loon necklace, which admittedly is not a field mark I would trust at a
distance. 

Lastly, there was a scaup in the mill pond opposite the Whiting town office.
I have posted it to https://www.facebook.com/MaineBirdingTrail/  and
encourage everyone to argue about the ID. 

Bob Duchesne

 

 

 

 



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Subject: Downeast birding
From: Sandi <smduchesne AT roadrunner.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 11:48:13 -0800 (PST)
Bob and I were at West Quoddy Head in Lubec this morning, lucky enough to 
spot a PACIFIC LOON in the same spotting scope as two thick-billed murres, 
along with some close-to-shore white-wing and black scoters and a R-B 
merganser.  At the mill pond at the junction of Route 189 and US-1 in 
Whiting, there was a scaup at very close distance.  We have a guess as to 
which one, but Bob wants to post the photo to this group as an ID game. 
 May have to wait till tomorrow, though - his computer doesn't seem to want 
to connect to the Internet today.

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Subject: Great Gray Owl- Yes
From: Justin Lawson <justindlawson AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:52:27 +0000
After spending last weekend in Montreal searching for a GGOW and booking
another hotel in Quebec City for next weekend to search for their local
bird I was comvinced to make a last minute dash for Maine's bird. After my
son won his soccer championship game at 930pm last night we departed
central Ma. 4.5 hours we went to bed...for 4 hours. trecked out with some
other birder friends. searched for a bit finding nothing. a local guy said
he had it 5 min prior down stud mill rd near the airstrip/firing range. the
stream of cars stopped and waited. after some time people started to leave
and search the roads. we then passed this spot again and my mother spotted
it. stayed for about 1 min. life bird for all but most importantly for my 9
year old. in 2014 he did a little big year which got some local and
national attention. interviewed by the newspaper telling them he wanted to
see a Great Gray Owl more than anything. today was that day! to my
knowledge as of 150pm it has not been seen again :(

his blog was/is greatgreyowen.blogspot.com and then changing to
greatgrayowen.blogspot.com (after a newspaper missprint)


good birding!

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Justin Lawson
Worcester, MA

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Subject: Rockland Pink-Footed Geese yes
From: Rafael Adams <soposup AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 08:59:18 -0800 (PST)
Birds were not there at 11:30 am, 1/22

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Subject: Short-eared Owl at Reid State Park
From: Gordon Smith <mbsgrs AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:54:18 -0800 (PST)
A nice-looking Short-eared Owl was observed hunting this morning (10:20 AM) 
along the back-dune off Mile Beach at Reid State Park.  It was coming from 
the direction of Todd's Point to near the main parking lot and then turned 
around and headed back along the dune toward Todd's Point, where it was 
lost sight of.

Other birds encountered today included a good-sized flock of 
sanderlings, 40+ actively diving razorbills and a half-dozen Black-legged 
kittiwakes.  It was a great day weather-wise, with light winds and good 
viewing conditions.

Gordon

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Subject: Scarborough
From: Linda Elliott <lindae1136 AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:06:49 -0800 (PST)
Small flock of Long Tailed ducks at the Co-op today. Also a Northern Flicker 
and numerous Bluebirds have been at my feeder regularly for the past month. 


Linda E

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Subject: Fwd: Zeiss spotting scope lens cap Yarmouth
From: Raven Watcher <ravenwatcher AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 21:08:45 +0000
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Raven Watcher 
Date: Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Zeiss spotting scope lens cap Yarmouth
To: Maine Birds 
Will drop off at Freeport Wild Bird Supply route one south tomorrow AM. You
can pick it up there,
Dan

Found at town landing boat launch where there was a Barrows goldeneye great
blue heron kingfisher today
Dan Nickerson

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Subject: Zeiss spotting scope lens cap Yarmouth
From: Raven Watcher <ravenwatcher AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 20:01:22 +0000
Found at town landing boat launch where there was a Barrows goldeneye great
blue heron kingfisher today
Dan Nickerson

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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl
From: Nathan Hall <hallnatec AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 18:36:41 -0500
Hey all,

Lena Moser, Fleur Hopper, and I searched for the owl from about 2:00 to
4:00 with no luck. There were a number of birders around looking for the
owl without any luck either.

And just to add to the discussion about owls and human noise, here
 is
an interesting article from last summer.

Nathan Hall
Portland, ME

On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 4:19 PM, Linda Powell 
wrote:

> Good afternoon,
>
> I also saw the Great Gray Owl today at 12:30 to 1 o'clock. I'm glad this
> morning that Rob had considerate viewers. Unfortunately there were at least
> a dozen people there, out of their cars with their scopes standing to the
> side of the road and the bird was only about 50 feet from them. As we drove
> up the bird flew across the road and into the trees. I was not very pleased
> that people were so near the bird trying to take pictures. Some of the
> people started to follow into the woods. We returned at 3 but the bird
> wasn't seen afterward.
>
> I know not everyone is like this but it is frustrating to think that some
> are inconsiderate.
>
> Linda Powell
>
>
> On Jan 20, 2017 7:25 PM, rob speirs  wrote:
>
> Hello All,
>
> I was privileged to view the Great Gray Owl, today, and wish to thank John
> Wyatt, who originally found the bird, for sharing..a good decision.
>
> There was a fairly good size group of people viewing the bird and I was
> pleased to see a very well mannered bunch. No one, while I was there, tried
> to approach the bird for a "better shot". The bird moved once and did not
> appear in the least bit stressed.
>
> Having said that, I would like to reiterate what John Wyatt suggested,
> relative to viewing the bird. John suggested that, when possible, view and
> photograph the bird from your vehicle. I noticed a number of people were
> doing just that. If there is a need to exit the vehicle, remain near it and
> take photos from there. Where a large group of birders gather, it is
> recommended that movement and conversation be kept to a minimum and at low
> volume.
>
> It is best not to approach the bird, but rather, view from afar. If your
> camera is not capable of getting that long shot, then so be it. Don't try
> to compensate by getting closer to the bird.  It gives you a great excuse
> to buy a new one. Start with the new "point and shoots" with unbelievable
> zooms. If you want to get rich selling high quality images of birds, go for
> a DSLR camera. I think there are three people in America actually making
> money at it.
>
> Lastly, view the bird and move on...don't linger. The tendency is to hang
> around as the crowd gathers, building the numbers. I have been guilty of
> this myself, but more and more try to get in, view the bird, get the shot,
> and get out. Today, I was there no more than 10 minutes. That's my two
> cents.
>
> See you in the field,
>
> Rob
>
>
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Subject: Fw: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: "'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:11:26 +0000 (UTC)
I forgot one more thing to be fair to some observers that may have not read 
previous posts on Maine birds and only followed EBird reports or word of 
mouth.  

I thought maybe a suggestion would be for all who have seen the bird and use 
EBird to start their comments in the comments box with a brief plea for all to 
give the bird space. Feel free to use your own words or maybe copy and paste 
the following: PLEASE VIEW THIS BIRD FROM INSIDE OR BEHIND YOUR VEHICLE AND 
PARK ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ROAD THAT THE BIRD IS HUNTING FROM. PLEASE 
GIVE THIS BIRD IT'S SPACE! ALL CARS PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD (ALONG 
TREE LINE). THESE ARE ACTIVE LOGGING ROADS SO BE CAREFUL! 

Hope this makes sense!
Noah Gibb

 On Saturday, January 21, 2017 9:16 PM, Noah Gibb  
wrote: 

 

 To all birders and photographers,
First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the word 
out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate that I had 
the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was somewhat 
tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not respecting the 
bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most important thing). 

From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I know and 
birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the roads that have 
the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines run. The owl 
obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the cleared area. This is 
where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to my knowledge) stayed 
behind their cars that were also parked on the side of the road opposite the 
cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that was present obeyed that 
rule that this relatively tame species of owl would have no problem with it.  

When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud Mill Rd 
after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute before, the 
bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars lined opposite 
the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but there was a man in 
the woods heading towards the direction in which the bird apparently flushed 
and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods set up in and adjacent to the 
cleared area. This is NOT okay! 

Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several minutes, 
but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's side of the 
road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually became a lineup of 
8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird every time it flushed! 
Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of this, however.  

Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at the 
intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in their 
cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl from both 
roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as they could. From 
a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded practically 360 
degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird like this more than 
significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite frankly confuses the heck 
out of it! This should be obvious. 

Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or anything 
else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there are other 
birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or on their way 
that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. Sometimes the best 
photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't ruin it for everyone 
else! 

I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for much 
of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it the 
space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to survive. 


Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless absolutely 
necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)! 

Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!Noah 
Gibb-Freeport 







 










   

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Subject: Rockland Pink-Footed Geese yes
From: Rafael Adams <soposup AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 18:32:41 -0800 (PST)
Drove up yesterday and dipped at the Elementary School on Thomaston rd. 
 Also checked the Town Landing.  Found the 2 Pink-footed geese this 
afternoon (1/21) around 4pm with about 20 Canada Geese on a waterfront lawn 
about 100 yards down Waldo Ave. heading towards Samoset resort from Rte. 1. 
 This is a fairly busy rd with not much of a shoulder, but there is parking 
just a few hundred feet away from where they were seen.

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Subject: Great Gray Owl rules to follow PLEASE!!!
From: "'Noah Gibb' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 02:16:13 +0000 (UTC)
To all birders and photographers,
First of all, thanks to John Wyatt for finding this bird and getting the word 
out! I personally had never seen this species and am very fortunate that I had 
the opportunity this morning. Unfortunately, the experience was somewhat 
tainted due to a few individuals and eventually several not respecting the 
bird's space and livelihood (which should be the most important thing). 

From what I could see, all the birders and birder/photographers that I know and 
birders that I don't know remained on the opposite side of the roads that have 
the cleared area in front of the trees where the gas lines run. The owl 
obviously hunts and perches mostly on the side with the cleared area. This is 
where it will get it's food. All of those birders (to my knowledge) stayed 
behind their cars that were also parked on the side of the road opposite the 
cleared area. I personally feel like if everyone that was present obeyed that 
rule that this relatively tame species of owl would have no problem with it.  

When Leon Mooney, Josh Fecteau, Marian Zimmerman, and I arrived at Stud Mill Rd 
after just getting word that the bird was present only a minute before, the 
bird was nowhere in sight. Of course there was a line of cars lined opposite 
the cleared side (which is where the cars should be), but there was a man in 
the woods heading towards the direction in which the bird apparently flushed 
and two photographers with huge lenses on tripods set up in and adjacent to the 
cleared area. This is NOT okay! 

Luckily the owl came back out to the edge of the woods after several minutes, 
but what started with two photographers remaining on the "Owl's side of the 
road" even after being asked politely to back off eventually became a lineup of 
8-12 large lensed individuals that ran after the bird every time it flushed! 
Every large lensed photographer was not guilty of this, however.  

Before we left, the bird had flown to a fairly short, wooden post right at the 
intersection of Stud Mill and County Rd and people proceeded to get in their 
cars or start jogging to the bird, eventually surrounding the owl from both 
roads on either side of it while photographers got as close as they could. From 
a distance, it was obvious that this bird was surrounded practically 360 
degrees with maybe 30-50 feet around it. Cornering the bird like this more than 
significantly reduces it's ability to hunt and quite frankly confuses the heck 
out of it! This should be obvious. 

Please remember that there is no excuse for putting added pressure on this 
bird; not if you are a professional photographer, semipro, amateur, or anything 
else. Most importantly for the bird's sake, but also because there are other 
birders and photographers (pro, semi, and amateur) present and/or on their way 
that are currently or are planning to keep a safe distance. Sometimes the best 
photos come from hanging back and being patient! Don't ruin it for everyone 
else! 

I am hopeful that many other bird lovers out there can go see this owl for much 
of the remaining winter and enjoy it while at the same time, giving it the 
space that it deserves so that it can hunt in peace and continue to survive. 


Sorry for the long post and please don't continue this thread unless absolutely 
necessary (feel free to reply to me offline if you would like)! 

Bird haahd, but not so haahd that you scare off all the birds!Noah 
Gibb-Freeport 







 








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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl
From: Linda Powell <lindaleehunter AT hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 21:19:02 +0000
Good afternoon,

I also saw the Great Gray Owl today at 12:30 to 1 o'clock. I'm glad this 
morning that Rob had considerate viewers. Unfortunately there were at least a 
dozen people there, out of their cars with their scopes standing to the side of 
the road and the bird was only about 50 feet from them. As we drove up the bird 
flew across the road and into the trees. I was not very pleased that people 
were so near the bird trying to take pictures. Some of the people started to 
follow into the woods. We returned at 3 but the bird wasn't seen afterward. 


I know not everyone is like this but it is frustrating to think that some are 
inconsiderate. 


Linda Powell

On Jan 20, 2017 7:25 PM, rob speirs  wrote:
Hello All,

I was privileged to view the Great Gray Owl, today, and wish to thank John 
Wyatt, who originally found the bird, for sharing..a good decision. 


There was a fairly good size group of people viewing the bird and I was pleased 
to see a very well mannered bunch. No one, while I was there, tried to approach 
the bird for a "better shot". The bird moved once and did not appear in the 
least bit stressed. 


Having said that, I would like to reiterate what John Wyatt suggested, relative 
to viewing the bird. John suggested that, when possible, view and photograph 
the bird from your vehicle. I noticed a number of people were doing just that. 
If there is a need to exit the vehicle, remain near it and take photos from 
there. Where a large group of birders gather, it is recommended that movement 
and conversation be kept to a minimum and at low volume. 


It is best not to approach the bird, but rather, view from afar. If your camera 
is not capable of getting that long shot, then so be it. Don't try to 
compensate by getting closer to the bird. It gives you a great excuse to buy a 
new one. Start with the new "point and shoots" with unbelievable zooms. If you 
want to get rich selling high quality images of birds, go for a DSLR camera. I 
think there are three people in America actually making money at it. 


Lastly, view the bird and move on...don't linger. The tendency is to hang 
around as the crowd gathers, building the numbers. I have been guilty of this 
myself, but more and more try to get in, view the bird, get the shot, and get 
out. Today, I was there no more than 10 minutes. That's my two cents. 


See you in the field,

Rob


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Subject: Acadia Ocean Path
From: LNO/MWA <marka AT maine.edu>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 11:03:32 -0800 (PST)
today we saw Common Eider (in much smaller numbers than previous winters), 
a flock of Purple Sandpipers, Common Mergansers galore, a Red-Breasted 
Merganser, Common Loons, Black Scoters.  Buffleheads at Otter Cove.  No 
Guillemots at Otter Cliffs where we usually find them, but a couple at Seal 
Harbor.

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Subject: Re: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: Mark Szantyr <birddog55 AT charter.net>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:20:51 -0500
Don't forget to expose the unethical birders as well. That loud bunch standing 
around talking and judging, making the whole experience very unpleasant for us 
ethical, quiet, and respectful photographer/birders who are actually there to 
study the bird and not as a social event. 


Mark Szantyr

"He's not my President"



> On Jan 19, 2017, at 4:27 PM, Andrea Bean  wrote:
> 
> Hi Derek,
> I love your post! I am on a personal mission down in Mass to expose every 
unethical photographer that I come across. I am always in contact with the 
Environmental Police as well as Andrew Vitz from the Mass Fish and Game. Like 
someone had said on here, there are a lot of very good, ethical photographers 
but it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone, most importantly the bird. I 
am going tomorrow to hopefully see the owl. I just started birding 2 1/2 years 
ago and this would be a treat. I will make you this promise, if I see any bad 
behavior, I will not be hesitant in the least to make sure it's exposed, and 
stopped. 

> Andrea Bean
> 
> 
>> On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 9:01:37 PM UTC-5, D Lovitch wrote:
>> 
>> Hi all, 
>> I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones without 
real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 

>> 
>> But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail. 
>> 
>> Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got 
rare bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about 
disturbance, and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily 
disseminated with rare (and not rare) bird sightings. 

>> 
>> Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we 
can get the word out there where people have to see it. 

>> 
>> Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of interest 
info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, instructions are rare, 
and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code of Birding Ethics. Fewer and 
fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even know there's an American Birding 
Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. And those who do don't always follow 
it. And there are many, many more of "us." 

>> 
>> As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS coordinate 
with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. But rarely: what 
can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is private, etc. 

>> 
>> Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). This 
spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the nesting 
Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) I can site 
numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 

>> 
>> Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare 
ones and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 

>> 
>> Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the 
worst behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing "it didn't 
happen unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, etc, often 
birders, photographers, and generally interested onlookers forget that the bird 
should ALWAYS come first. 

>> 
>> But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy 
to answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being diurnal 
hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. But does that 
make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a much-"liked" 
selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does it matter? 

>> 
>> Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity (at 
least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the crowd. And 
with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would not want to share 
that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would not want to add that 
to their list? 

>> 
>> But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched a 
supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate for 
another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred Owl 
carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both ways 
before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their sights. It 
only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl viewing 
opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 

>> 
>> Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument 
is nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is disturbance 
and bad behavior. 

>> 
>> What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own judgement 
and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different judgement and 
ethics! 

>> 
>> "Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray 
area, and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in both 
my own birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of many 
others. To me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important than the 
border or the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But that's just me. 
Many will disagree. I'm fine with that. 

>> 
>> In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by 
no means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general disregard 
for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or even the 
integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are entitled (a 
rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep enough) to see 
every bird no matter what the circumstances? 

>> 
>> Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I 
can site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in places 
where general dissemination of information is just not possible: feeders viewed 
from only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just people who want their 
damn privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why are we so entitled to 
chase, see, and list every bird regardless of circumstances? 

>> 
>> Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and not 
everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with the world. 
Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see something, but in 
the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of other birds to be seen, 
listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- another 189,999 Great Gray Owls 
we hopefully will someday have a chance to see. 

>> 
>> If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I be 
obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my feeders 
(unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only be viewed 
from my kitchen? 

>> 
>> Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the 
first Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an issue? 
Had the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does any of that 
matter? 

>> 
>> Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are fewer. 
Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that mean we 
have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 

>> 
>> Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but of 
course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the Stud Mill 
Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all put the bird 
first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and other birders. I wish 
everyone the best photographs without the need for shenanigans, and I hope 
everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they happen to be working on. 

>> 
>> But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and the 
"bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry about 
whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so lucky as to 
find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same for most other 
owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in the meantime, I 
will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope everyone gets the 
chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, and supports those who 
support birding, and support bird conservation. Think about what's "good 
enough" before the bird flies away, consider the birder who's on their way, and 
consider the rights and wishes of the property owner. Post a report with 
instructions and cautions. Follow up with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. 
Use the Listserve to help other birders (positive and negative reports) and 
yes, it yes, always promote good behavior and educate the uninitiated. 

>> 
>> I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to 
many of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and for 
your consideration. 

>> 
>> And now, back to my vacation. 
>> 
>> Sincerely, 
>> Derek 
>> 
>> Sent from my iPhone 
> 
> -- 
> Maine birds mailing list
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
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Subject: Re: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: Justin Lawson <justindlawson AT gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:01:30 +0000
The bird to my knowledge has not been seen since. I would suggest driving
an hour more north to Montreal where there is a few of them.
On Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 8:47 AM Andrea Bean  wrote:

> Hi Derek,
> I love your post!  I am on a personal mission down in Mass to expose every
> unethical photographer that I come across.  I am always in contact with the
> Environmental Police as well as Andrew Vitz from the Mass Fish and Game.
> Like someone had said on here, there are a lot of very good, ethical
> photographers but it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone, most
> importantly the bird.  I am going tomorrow to hopefully see the owl.  I
> just started birding 2 1/2 years ago and this would be a treat.  I will
> make you this promise, if I see any bad behavior, I will not be hesitant in
> the least to make sure it's exposed, and stopped.
> Andrea Bean
>
>
> On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 9:01:37 PM UTC-5, D Lovitch wrote:
>
>
>
>
> Hi all,
>
>
> I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones
> without real answers, and especially when we are on vacation!
>
>
>
>
>
> But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail.
>
>
>
>
>
> Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got
> rare bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about
> disturbance, and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily
> disseminated with rare (and not rare) bird sightings.
>
>
>
>
>
> Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we
> can get the word out there where people have to see it.
>
>
>
>
>
> Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active
> participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of
> interest info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few,
> instructions are rare, and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code
> of Birding Ethics. Fewer and fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even
> know there's an American Birding Association, let alone a Code of Ethics.
> And those who do don't always follow it. And there are many, many more of
> "us."
>
>
>
>
>
> As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS
> coordinate with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known.
> But rarely: what can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is
> private, etc.
>
>
>
>
>
> Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a
> homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way).
> This spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the
> nesting Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!)
> I can site numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative.
>
>
>
>
>
> Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare
> ones and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls.
>
>
>
>
>
> Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the
> worst behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing  "it
> didn't happen unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality,
> etc, often birders, photographers, and generally interested onlookers
> forget that the bird should ALWAYS come first.
>
>
>
>
>
> But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy
> to answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being
> diurnal hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day.
> But does that make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a
> much-"liked" selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does
> it matter?
>
>
>
>
>
> Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity
> (at least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the
> crowd. And with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would
> not want to share that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would
> not want to add that to their list?
>
>
>
>
>
> But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched
> a supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate
> for another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred
> Owl carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both
> ways before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their
> sights. It only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl
> viewing opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl!
>
>
>
>
>
> Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument
> is nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is
> disturbance and bad behavior.
>
>
>
>
>
> What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question,
> however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own
> judgement and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different
> judgement and ethics!
>
>
>
>
>
> "Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray
> area, and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in
> both my own birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of
> many others. To me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important
> than the border or the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But
> that's just me. Many will disagree. I'm fine with that.
>
>
>
>
>
> In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by
> no means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and
> selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general
> disregard for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or
> even the integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are
> entitled (a rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep
> enough) to see every bird no matter what the circumstances?
>
>
>
>
>
> Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I
> can site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in
> places where general dissemination of information is just not possible:
> feeders viewed from only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just
> people who want their damn privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why
> are we so entitled to chase, see, and list every bird regardless of
> circumstances?
>
>
>
>
>
> Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and
> not everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with
> the world. Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see
> something, but in the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of
> other birds to be seen, listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\-
> another 189,999 Great Gray Owls we hopefully will someday have a chance to
> see.
>
>
>
>
>
> If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I
> entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I
> be obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my
> feeders (unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only
> be viewed from my kitchen?
>
>
>
>
>
> Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the
> first Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an
> issue? Had the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does
> any of that matter?
>
>
>
>
>
> Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are
> fewer. Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that
> mean we have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there?
>
>
>
>
>
> Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but
> of course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the
> Stud Mill Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all
> put the bird first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and
> other birders. I wish everyone the best photographs without the need for
> shenanigans, and I hope everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they
> happen to be working on.
>
>
>
>
>
> But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and
> the "bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry
> about whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so
> lucky as to find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same
> for most other owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in
> the meantime, I will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope
> everyone gets the chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first,
> and supports those who support birding, and support bird conservation.
> Think about what's "good enough" before the bird flies away, consider the
> birder who's on their way, and consider the rights and wishes of the
> property owner. Post a report with instructions and cautions. Follow up
> with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. Use the Listserve to help other
> birders (positive and negative reports) and yes, it yes, always promote
> good behavior and educate the uninitiated.
>
>
>
>
>
> I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to
> many of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and
> for your consideration.
>
>
>
>
>
> And now, back to my vacation.
>
>
>
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
>
> Derek
>
>
>
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
> Maine birds mailing list
>
>
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
>
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
>
>
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
>
>
> ---
>
>
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Maine birds" group.
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to maine-birds+unsubscribe AT googlegroups.com.
>
>
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
>
>
> --
Justin Lawson
Worcester, MA

-- 
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Subject: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: John Lorenc <johnlorenc88 AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:36:08 -0800 (PST)
Well said and thoughtful!

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 9:01:37 PM UTC-5, D Lovitch wrote:
>
>
> Hi all, 
> I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones 
> without real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 
>
> But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail. 
>
> Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got 
> rare bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about 
> disturbance, and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily 
> disseminated with rare (and not rare) bird sightings. 
>
> Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we 
> can get the word out there where people have to see it. 
>
> Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
> participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of 
> interest info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, 
> instructions are rare, and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code 
> of Birding Ethics. Fewer and fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even 
> know there's an American Birding Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. 
> And those who do don't always follow it. And there are many, many more of 
> "us." 
>
> As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS 
> coordinate with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. 
> But rarely: what can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is 
> private, etc. 
>
> Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
> homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). 
> This spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the 
> nesting Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) 
> I can site numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 
>
> Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare 
> ones and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 
>
> Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the 
> worst behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing  "it 
> didn't happen unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, 
> etc, often birders, photographers, and generally interested onlookers 
> forget that the bird should ALWAYS come first. 
>
> But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy 
> to answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being 
> diurnal hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. 
> But does that make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a 
> much-"liked" selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does 
> it matter? 
>
> Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity 
> (at least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the 
> crowd. And with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would 
> not want to share that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would 
> not want to add that to their list? 
>
> But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched 
> a supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate 
> for another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred 
> Owl carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both 
> ways before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their 
> sights. It only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl 
> viewing opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 
>
> Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument 
> is nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is 
> disturbance and bad behavior. 
>
> What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
> however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own 
> judgement and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different 
> judgement and ethics! 
>
> "Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray 
> area, and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in 
> both my own birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of 
> many others. To me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important 
> than the border or the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But 
> that's just me. Many will disagree. I'm fine with that. 
>
> In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by 
> no means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
> selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general 
> disregard for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or 
> even the integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are 
> entitled (a rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep 
> enough) to see every bird no matter what the circumstances? 
>
> Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I 
> can site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in 
> places where general dissemination of information is just not possible: 
> feeders viewed from only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just 
> people who want their damn privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why 
> are we so entitled to chase, see, and list every bird regardless of 
> circumstances? 
>
> Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and 
> not everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with 
> the world. Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see 
> something, but in the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of 
> other birds to be seen, listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- 
> another 189,999 Great Gray Owls we hopefully will someday have a chance to 
> see. 
>
> If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
> entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I 
> be obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my 
> feeders (unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only 
> be viewed from my kitchen? 
>
> Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the 
> first Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an 
> issue? Had the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does 
> any of that matter? 
>
> Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are 
> fewer. Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that 
> mean we have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 
>
> Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but 
> of course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the 
> Stud Mill Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all 
> put the bird first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and 
> other birders. I wish everyone the best photographs without the need for 
> shenanigans, and I hope everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they 
> happen to be working on. 
>
> But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and 
> the "bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry 
> about whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so 
> lucky as to find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same 
> for most other owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in 
> the meantime, I will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope 
> everyone gets the chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, 
> and supports those who support birding, and support bird conservation. 
> Think about what's "good enough" before the bird flies away, consider the 
> birder who's on their way, and consider the rights and wishes of the 
> property owner. Post a report with instructions and cautions. Follow up 
> with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. Use the Listserve to help other 
> birders (positive and negative reports) and yes, it yes, always promote 
> good behavior and educate the uninitiated. 
>
> I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to 
> many of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and 
> for your consideration. 
>
> And now, back to my vacation. 
>
> Sincerely, 
> Derek 
>
> Sent from my iPhone 
>

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Subject: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: Andrea Bean <abean60 AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:27:01 -0800 (PST)
Hi Derek,
I love your post!  I am on a personal mission down in Mass to expose every 
unethical photographer that I come across.  I am always in contact with the 
Environmental Police as well as Andrew Vitz from the Mass Fish and Game. 
 Like someone had said on here, there are a lot of very good, ethical 
photographers but it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone, most 
importantly the bird.  I am going tomorrow to hopefully see the owl.  I 
just started birding 2 1/2 years ago and this would be a treat.  I will 
make you this promise, if I see any bad behavior, I will not be hesitant in 
the least to make sure it's exposed, and stopped.
Andrea Bean


On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 9:01:37 PM UTC-5, D Lovitch wrote:
>
>
> Hi all, 
> I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones 
> without real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 
>
> But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail. 
>
> Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got 
> rare bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about 
> disturbance, and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily 
> disseminated with rare (and not rare) bird sightings. 
>
> Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we 
> can get the word out there where people have to see it. 
>
> Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
> participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of 
> interest info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, 
> instructions are rare, and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code 
> of Birding Ethics. Fewer and fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even 
> know there's an American Birding Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. 
> And those who do don't always follow it. And there are many, many more of 
> "us." 
>
> As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS 
> coordinate with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. 
> But rarely: what can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is 
> private, etc. 
>
> Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
> homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). 
> This spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the 
> nesting Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) 
> I can site numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 
>
> Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare 
> ones and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 
>
> Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the 
> worst behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing  "it 
> didn't happen unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, 
> etc, often birders, photographers, and generally interested onlookers 
> forget that the bird should ALWAYS come first. 
>
> But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy 
> to answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being 
> diurnal hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. 
> But does that make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a 
> much-"liked" selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does 
> it matter? 
>
> Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity 
> (at least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the 
> crowd. And with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would 
> not want to share that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would 
> not want to add that to their list? 
>
> But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched 
> a supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate 
> for another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred 
> Owl carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both 
> ways before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their 
> sights. It only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl 
> viewing opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 
>
> Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument 
> is nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is 
> disturbance and bad behavior. 
>
> What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
> however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own 
> judgement and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different 
> judgement and ethics! 
>
> "Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray 
> area, and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in 
> both my own birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of 
> many others. To me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important 
> than the border or the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But 
> that's just me. Many will disagree. I'm fine with that. 
>
> In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by 
> no means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
> selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general 
> disregard for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or 
> even the integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are 
> entitled (a rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep 
> enough) to see every bird no matter what the circumstances? 
>
> Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I 
> can site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in 
> places where general dissemination of information is just not possible: 
> feeders viewed from only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just 
> people who want their damn privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why 
> are we so entitled to chase, see, and list every bird regardless of 
> circumstances? 
>
> Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and 
> not everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with 
> the world. Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see 
> something, but in the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of 
> other birds to be seen, listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- 
> another 189,999 Great Gray Owls we hopefully will someday have a chance to 
> see. 
>
> If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
> entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I 
> be obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my 
> feeders (unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only 
> be viewed from my kitchen? 
>
> Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the 
> first Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an 
> issue? Had the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does 
> any of that matter? 
>
> Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are 
> fewer. Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that 
> mean we have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 
>
> Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but 
> of course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the 
> Stud Mill Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all 
> put the bird first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and 
> other birders. I wish everyone the best photographs without the need for 
> shenanigans, and I hope everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they 
> happen to be working on. 
>
> But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and 
> the "bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry 
> about whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so 
> lucky as to find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same 
> for most other owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in 
> the meantime, I will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope 
> everyone gets the chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, 
> and supports those who support birding, and support bird conservation. 
> Think about what's "good enough" before the bird flies away, consider the 
> birder who's on their way, and consider the rights and wishes of the 
> property owner. Post a report with instructions and cautions. Follow up 
> with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. Use the Listserve to help other 
> birders (positive and negative reports) and yes, it yes, always promote 
> good behavior and educate the uninitiated. 
>
> I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to 
> many of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and 
> for your consideration. 
>
> And now, back to my vacation. 
>
> Sincerely, 
> Derek 
>
> Sent from my iPhone 
>

-- 
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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl -- no
From: Josh Fecteau <joshuafecteau AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:31:08 -0500
I looked today along County Road in Milford and a 4-mile section of
Stud Mill Road (from County Road east to the single lane bridge) from
~9:45am-12:30pm. I did not encounter a Great Gray Owl.

--Josh

Inspiring Nature Connection in New England
joshfecteau.com | patreon.com/JoshFecteau

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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl
From: Rich MacDonald <rich AT thenaturalhistorycenter.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:10:13 -0500
Alas, I had no luck finding the owl today. I did see a Northern Shrike.
And a few other birders.


Richard MacDonald
The Natural History Center
P.O. Box 6
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
207/266-9461
Rich AT TheNaturalHistoryCenter.com
www.TheNaturalHistoryCenter.com
www.facebook.com/TheNaturalHistoryCenter




On 1/19/17, 7:12 PM, "Bob Crowley"  wrote:

>Does anyone have any information on the Great Gray Owl being seen today
>or if it has not been seen?
>Thank You
>Bob Crowley
>Chatham, NH
>
>crbob AT fairpoint.net
>
>
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Subject: Great Gray Owl
From: Bob Crowley <crbob AT fairpoint.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:12:04 -0500
Does anyone have any information on the Great Gray Owl being seen today 
or if it has not been seen?
Thank You
Bob Crowley
Chatham, NH

crbob AT fairpoint.net


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Subject: Snow buntings
From: "'Henry Donovan' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:07:19 -0500
A trip Pine Point provided a real treat with a flight of Snow Buntings in the 
trees on the circle beyond Wild Duck campgrounds.Also loons ,Long tails, and 
eiders at the Coop parking area. 

HLD


Sent from my iPad

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Subject: Royal River Yarmouth - Barrow's Goldeneye
From: Stella Walsh <stellawalsh AT earthlink.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:52:21 -0500
From Royal River Grill House and Yankee Marina. 

Two drake Barrow's Goldeneyes. I didn't sort out any females. 
A dozen or so Common Goldeneyes. 
Common (3), Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers
Buffleheads (6 or so)
Ring-billed (~90) and Herring (~20) Gulls

Glaucous Gull found about a week ago by Bill Hancock not been around since as 
far as I know. 


Stella

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Subject: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: David Lipsy <dlipsy AT comcast.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:28:36 -0500
Mike,

I would like to first agree that Derek made some very good points in his 
excellent break from his vacation. 


Mike you have made some very good points regarding photographers. I would like 
to address this from the perspective of a Nature Photographer who specializes 
in birds. Before I became a photographer, I was a birder. I still go out as a 
birder, albeit with a few cameras and an assortment of lenses in my truck. 


I am quite upset with the many stories I have heard of the horrendous things 
“nature photographers” do to ‘get the shot’. I have personally 
witnessed behavior in Rye, NH a couple of years ago when there were a 
succession of Snowy Owls there. I immediately went to these individuals trying 
to flush the bird… I walked in front of them and with with a wide angle lens 
took a few pictures of them. I then proceeded to demand they stop. I explained 
that I have a few contacts with NH F&G and that they will be contacted by an 
officer if they do not stop. That did the trick. 


If you do take an image of people doing things we have all discussed, follow 
them to their vehicle and be sure to get a photo of their license plate. The 
authorities will take it from there. 


I have heard of people cutting away all of the foliage to get a shot of a nest, 
leaving the nest exposed to predators. If I were to witness this, I would do 
whatever it took to stop them. 


This group of ‘bird photogs’ have left a sour taste in most birders mouths. 
I can’t tell you the number of times I have shown up at a location and when 
birders see my big lens, they automatically show disdain towards me. The few 
have ruined it for the rest of us, that not only follow the ABA Code, but 
enforce it when required for the safety of the bird. 


As to report or not to report… I think it is very important to document a 
significant find on eBird. You can be as vague as you wish as to location, but 
the record needs to be documented. 

Putting out a report on the list serve is up to you. My personal opinion is 
that it is selfish to keep the location of a rarity to yourself. 

As far as nest sights go… thats a different story. Should it be a raptor nest 
you think may be new, contact your local Audubon center and speak with the 
Raptor biologist. They may or may not know of this nest, and may or may not be 
interested. Leave it up to them to decide if the location should be given to 
the public. 


Mike's idea of certified photographs is not a bad idea, however, there is no 
way to know if my flight image of a GGOW was due to my purposely flushing the 
bird, or if the bird simply flew up and over my head, hovered to check me out, 
then flew back to it’s perch… a true story of the GGOW that was in Hanover, 
NH a few years back. I got an image as it took off… but I had my longer lens 
in my hand thus to much glass for this amazing encounter. Of course, an 
encounter like this should be enjoyed with the naked eye… and cherished. The 
bird, after looking me over, flew back over to its perch, and resumed hunting 
for food. Before this encounter, I was a good distance away from the bird, 
standing in a frozen marsh. The bird then flew to a snag that was close to me. 
My point is sometimes I believe these birds are simply curious of what these 
two legged animals are. I had done nothing to provoke this birds inspection of 
me. When it came to the near snag, I didn’t move… other than to slowly 
raise my camera and take some images of this beauty. It came to me. If someone 
were to have come to the location after this bird flew to the near snag, it 
would look bad for me being that close. 


To take your certification suggestion further, I think it could be better 
achieved by having Photographers Certified in some way. How that would be 
accomplished I don’t know… but it could be done. 


I am planning on coming up to see this bird on Stud Mill Road on Saturday. I 
hope it is kind enough to stick around. 

I expect I will get some looks that are not all too pleasant. I really hope 
people read this and remember that most photographers do not provoke these 
birds and are as ethical as they are. 


Recently in Hampton, NH at Hampton Beach State Park, there was a Snowy Owl 
sifting on a low railing behind some Juniper bushes, partially exposed. 30-40 
photographers were line up a proper distance away… we all took images of this 
bird… and waited… and waited for it to fly to get that beautiful BIF. All 
it did was smile at us… I think it knew what we wanted and decided… “not 
today”. It was still there as we packed up and left with the setting sun. 
Nobody tried to flush it and everyone was respectful. 


This is one I came away with that day… its not a flight shot, but still 
wonderful. 

Snowy Owl - Hampton Beach State Park - Hampton, NH 01-12-17



Please try to remember that the fact we have a camera does not mean we are 
there to cause trouble… we are there to document the experience so we can 
share it with the birding community and beyond, that are not able to see this 
amazing creature for themselves. 


Thank you all very much for your time.
David


David Lipsy
Eagle Eye Photography
Eagle Eye Sports Photography
Nature & Sports Photographic Services
Concord, NH

Email: dlipsy AT comcast.net Website: 
http://davidlipsy.zenfolio.com/  

Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65293799 AT N04/sets/ 
 


Portfolio - ViewBug - A Selection of my Best Work:
http://www.viewbug.com/member/davidlipsy 
 





> On Jan 19, 2017, at 9:51 AM, mresch8702 via Maine birds 
 wrote: 

> 
> Great comments Derek!
>  
> To pile on - in my mind it seems that behavior has worsened (on average) as 
the number of cameras has increased. Certainly there are many birders who are 
also photographers who do a great job not harassing a bird and still get their 
photos. But invariably it seems those individuals most likely to be harassing a 
bird apparently do so to get their pictures. Many times oblivious to the 
birders nearby who are simply trying to get a look at the bird. And now 
frequently I see a number of photographers who aren't even birders showing up 
at take pictures of a rarity. 

>  
> I remember the unfortunate saga surrounding a Great Gray in Rowley, MA in 
1996. The bird was actually quite cooperative. But some individuals with 
cameras had to get even better photos, resulting in some very unneeded 
harassing of the bird. I was about to summarize their antics here, but worried 
it would give other photographers too many ideas about how to harass the next 
owl they encounter. 

>  
> As others have said - if you see someone harassing a bird, whether it's for a 
photo or otherwise, tell them to stop. Perhaps they don't realize what they are 
doing is wrong. In my experience most don't care. And even better, take 
advantage of social media and post a photo/video of the culprit. 

>  
> Wonder if we could start a certification process where photographs are 
certified as being taken without harassing the subject. Sort of the way wood 
products can be certified as being sustainably harvested. Without the 
certification of the photo the demand for purchasing it could be less, reducing 
its value for the unethical photographer trying to sell it. Let the almighty 
dollar correct the behavior. Just a thought. 

>  
> Back to birding...
>  
> Mike Resch
> www.statebirding.blogspot.com 
> Pepperell, MA
>  
>  
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 'Derek Lovitch' via Maine birds 
> To: Maine-birds 
> Sent: Wed, Jan 18, 2017 9:01 pm
> Subject: [Maine-birds] On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
> 
> 
> Hi all,
> I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones without 
real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 

> 
> But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail.
> 
> Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got rare 
bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about disturbance, 
and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily disseminated with rare 
(and not rare) bird sightings. 

> 
> Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we 
can get the word out there where people have to see it. 

> 
> Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of interest 
info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, instructions are rare, 
and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code of Birding Ethics. Fewer and 
fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even know there's an American Birding 
Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. And those who do don't always follow 
it. And there are many, many more of "us." 

> 
> As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS coordinate 
with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. But rarely: what 
can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is private, etc. 

> 
> Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). This 
spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the nesting 
Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) I can site 
numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 

> 
> Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare 
ones and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 

> 
> Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the 
worst behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing "it didn't 
happen unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, etc, often 
birders, photographers, and generally interested onlookers forget that the bird 
should ALWAYS come first. 

> 
> But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy to 
answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being diurnal 
hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. But does that 
make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a much-"liked" 
selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does it matter? 

> 
> Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity (at 
least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the crowd. And 
with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would not want to share 
that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would not want to add that 
to their list? 

> 
> But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched a 
supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate for 
another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred Owl 
carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both ways 
before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their sights. It 
only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl viewing 
opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 

> 
> Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument is 
nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is disturbance 
and bad behavior. 

> 
> What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own judgement 
and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different judgement and 
ethics! 

> 
> "Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray area, 
and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in both my own 
birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of many others. To 
me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important than the border or 
the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But that's just me. Many will 
disagree. I'm fine with that. 

> 
> In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by no 
means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general disregard 
for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or even the 
integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are entitled (a 
rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep enough) to see 
every bird no matter what the circumstances? 

> 
> Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I 
can site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in places 
where general dissemination of information is just not possible: feeders viewed 
from only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just people who want their 
damn privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why are we so entitled to 
chase, see, and list every bird regardless of circumstances? 

> 
> Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and not 
everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with the world. 
Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see something, but in 
the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of other birds to be seen, 
listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- another 189,999 Great Gray Owls 
we hopefully will someday have a chance to see. 

> 
> If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I be 
obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my feeders 
(unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only be viewed 
from my kitchen? 

> 
> Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the 
first Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an issue? 
Had the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does any of that 
matter? 

> 
> Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are fewer. 
Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that mean we 
have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 

> 
> Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but of 
course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the Stud Mill 
Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all put the bird 
first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and other birders. I wish 
everyone the best photographs without the need for shenanigans, and I hope 
everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they happen to be working on. 

> 
> But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and the 
"bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry about 
whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so lucky as to 
find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same for most other 
owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in the meantime, I 
will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope everyone gets the 
chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, and supports those who 
support birding, and support bird conservation. Think about what's "good 
enough" before the bird flies away, consider the birder who's on their way, and 
consider the rights and wishes of the property owner. Post a report with 
instructions and cautions. Follow up with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. 
Use the Listserve to help other birders (positive and negative reports) and 
yes, it yes, always promote good behavior and educate the uninitiate d. 

> 
> I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to many 
of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and for your 
consideration. 

> 
> And now, back to my vacation.
> 
> Sincerely,
> Derek
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> -- 
> Maine birds mailing list
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com 
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds 
 

> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207 
 

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> 
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Subject: Re: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: Sharon F. <sfinley111 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:50:17 +0000
As Derek eloquently stated the bird's welfare should be the primary concern of 
each and every one of us fortunate observers! Sharon in West K. 



________________________________
From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com  on behalf of 
Seth Davis  

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:58 AM
To: Maine birds
Subject: [Maine-birds] Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding

Well said!

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 9:01:37 PM UTC-5, D Lovitch wrote:

Hi all,
I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones without 
real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 


But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail.

Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got rare 
bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about disturbance, 
and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily disseminated with rare 
(and not rare) bird sightings. 


Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we can 
get the word out there where people have to see it. 


Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of interest 
info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, instructions are rare, 
and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code of Birding Ethics. Fewer and 
fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even know there's an American Birding 
Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. And those who do don't always follow 
it. And there are many, many more of "us." 


As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS coordinate 
with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. But rarely: what 
can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is private, etc. 


Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). This 
spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the nesting 
Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) I can site 
numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 


Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare ones 
and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 


Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the worst 
behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing "it didn't happen 
unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, etc, often birders, 
photographers, and generally interested onlookers forget that the bird should 
ALWAYS come first. 


But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy to 
answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being diurnal 
hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. But does that 
make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a much-"liked" 
selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does it matter? 


Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity (at 
least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the crowd. And 
with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would not want to share 
that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would not want to add that 
to their list? 


But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched a 
supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate for 
another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred Owl 
carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both ways 
before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their sights. It 
only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl viewing 
opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 


Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument is 
nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is disturbance 
and bad behavior. 


What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own judgement 
and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different judgement and 
ethics! 


"Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray area, 
and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in both my own 
birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of many others. To 
me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important than the border or 
the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But that's just me. Many will 
disagree. I'm fine with that. 


In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by no 
means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general disregard 
for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or even the 
integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are entitled (a 
rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep enough) to see 
every bird no matter what the circumstances? 


Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I can 
site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in places where 
general dissemination of information is just not possible: feeders viewed from 
only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just people who want their damn 
privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why are we so entitled to chase, 
see, and list every bird regardless of circumstances? 


Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and not 
everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with the world. 
Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see something, but in 
the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of other birds to be seen, 
listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- another 189,999 Great Gray Owls 
we hopefully will someday have a chance to see. 


If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I be 
obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my feeders 
(unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only be viewed 
from my kitchen? 


Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the first 
Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an issue? Had 
the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does any of that 
matter? 


Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are fewer. 
Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that mean we 
have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 


Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but of 
course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the Stud Mill 
Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all put the bird 
first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and other birders. I wish 
everyone the best photographs without the need for shenanigans, and I hope 
everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they happen to be working on. 


But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and the 
"bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry about 
whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so lucky as to 
find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same for most other 
owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in the meantime, I 
will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope everyone gets the 
chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, and supports those who 
support birding, and support bird conservation. Think about what's "good 
enough" before the bird flies away, consider the birder who's on their way, and 
consider the rights and wishes of the property owner. Post a report with 
instructions and cautions. Follow up with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. 
Use the Listserve to help other birders (positive and negative reports) and 
yes, it yes, always promote good behavior and educate the uninitiated. 


I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to many 
of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and for your 
consideration. 


And now, back to my vacation.

Sincerely,
Derek

Sent from my iPhone

--
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Subject: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: Seth Davis <kd7gxf AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:58:18 -0800 (PST)
Well said!

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 9:01:37 PM UTC-5, D Lovitch wrote:
>
>
> Hi all, 
> I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones 
> without real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 
>
> But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail. 
>
> Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got 
> rare bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about 
> disturbance, and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily 
> disseminated with rare (and not rare) bird sightings. 
>
> Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we 
> can get the word out there where people have to see it. 
>
> Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
> participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of 
> interest info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, 
> instructions are rare, and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code 
> of Birding Ethics. Fewer and fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even 
> know there's an American Birding Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. 
> And those who do don't always follow it. And there are many, many more of 
> "us." 
>
> As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS 
> coordinate with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. 
> But rarely: what can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is 
> private, etc. 
>
> Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
> homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). 
> This spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the 
> nesting Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) 
> I can site numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 
>
> Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare 
> ones and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 
>
> Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the 
> worst behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing  "it 
> didn't happen unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, 
> etc, often birders, photographers, and generally interested onlookers 
> forget that the bird should ALWAYS come first. 
>
> But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy 
> to answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being 
> diurnal hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. 
> But does that make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a 
> much-"liked" selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does 
> it matter? 
>
> Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity 
> (at least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the 
> crowd. And with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would 
> not want to share that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would 
> not want to add that to their list? 
>
> But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched 
> a supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate 
> for another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred 
> Owl carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both 
> ways before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their 
> sights. It only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl 
> viewing opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 
>
> Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument 
> is nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is 
> disturbance and bad behavior. 
>
> What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
> however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own 
> judgement and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different 
> judgement and ethics! 
>
> "Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray 
> area, and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in 
> both my own birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of 
> many others. To me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important 
> than the border or the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But 
> that's just me. Many will disagree. I'm fine with that. 
>
> In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by 
> no means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
> selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general 
> disregard for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or 
> even the integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are 
> entitled (a rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep 
> enough) to see every bird no matter what the circumstances? 
>
> Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I 
> can site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in 
> places where general dissemination of information is just not possible: 
> feeders viewed from only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just 
> people who want their damn privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why 
> are we so entitled to chase, see, and list every bird regardless of 
> circumstances? 
>
> Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and 
> not everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with 
> the world. Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see 
> something, but in the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of 
> other birds to be seen, listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- 
> another 189,999 Great Gray Owls we hopefully will someday have a chance to 
> see. 
>
> If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
> entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I 
> be obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my 
> feeders (unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only 
> be viewed from my kitchen? 
>
> Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the 
> first Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an 
> issue? Had the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does 
> any of that matter? 
>
> Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are 
> fewer. Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that 
> mean we have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 
>
> Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but 
> of course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the 
> Stud Mill Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all 
> put the bird first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and 
> other birders. I wish everyone the best photographs without the need for 
> shenanigans, and I hope everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they 
> happen to be working on. 
>
> But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and 
> the "bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry 
> about whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so 
> lucky as to find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same 
> for most other owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in 
> the meantime, I will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope 
> everyone gets the chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, 
> and supports those who support birding, and support bird conservation. 
> Think about what's "good enough" before the bird flies away, consider the 
> birder who's on their way, and consider the rights and wishes of the 
> property owner. Post a report with instructions and cautions. Follow up 
> with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. Use the Listserve to help other 
> birders (positive and negative reports) and yes, it yes, always promote 
> good behavior and educate the uninitiated. 
>
> I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to 
> many of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and 
> for your consideration. 
>
> And now, back to my vacation. 
>
> Sincerely, 
> Derek 
>
> Sent from my iPhone 
>

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Subject: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: mresch8702 via Maine birds <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:51:24 -0500
Great comments Derek!
 
To pile on - in my mind it seems that behavior has worsened (on average) as the 
number of cameras has increased. Certainly there are many birders who are also 
photographers who do a great job not harassing a bird and still get their 
photos. But invariably it seems those individuals most likely to be harassing a 
bird apparently do so to get their pictures. Many times oblivious to the 
birders nearby who are simply trying to get a look at the bird. And now 
frequently I see a number of photographers who aren't even birders showing up 
at take pictures of a rarity. 


I remember the unfortunate saga surrounding a Great Gray in Rowley, MA in 1996. 
The bird was actually quite cooperative. But some individuals with cameras had 
to get even better photos, resulting in some very unneeded harassing of the 
bird. I was about to summarize their antics here, but worried it would give 
other photographers too many ideas about how to harass the next owl they 
encounter. 


As others have said - if you see someone harassing a bird, whether it's for a 
photo or otherwise, tell them to stop. Perhaps they don't realize what they are 
doing is wrong. In my experience most don't care. And even better, take 
advantage of social media and post a photo/video of the culprit. 


Wonder if we could start a certification process where photographs are 
certified as being taken without harassing the subject. Sort of the way wood 
products can be certified as being sustainably harvested. Without the 
certification of the photo the demand for purchasing it could be less, reducing 
its value for the unethical photographer trying to sell it. Let the almighty 
dollar correct the behavior. Just a thought. 


Back to birding...

Mike Resch
www.statebirding.blogspot.com
Pepperell, MA

 
-----Original Message-----
From: 'Derek Lovitch' via Maine birds 
To: Maine-birds 
Sent: Wed, Jan 18, 2017 9:01 pm
Subject: [Maine-birds] On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding


Hi all,
I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones without 
real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 


But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail.

Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got rare 
bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about disturbance, 
and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily disseminated with rare 
(and not rare) bird sightings. 


Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we can 
get the word out there where people have to see it. 


Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of interest 
info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, instructions are rare, 
and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code of Birding Ethics. Fewer and 
fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even know there's an American Birding 
Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. And those who do don't always follow 
it. And there are many, many more of "us." 


As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS coordinate 
with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. But rarely: what 
can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is private, etc. 


Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). This 
spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the nesting 
Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) I can site 
numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 


Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare ones 
and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 


Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the worst 
behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing "it didn't happen 
unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, etc, often birders, 
photographers, and generally interested onlookers forget that the bird should 
ALWAYS come first. 


But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy to 
answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being diurnal 
hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. But does that 
make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a much-"liked" 
selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does it matter? 


Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity (at 
least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the crowd. And 
with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would not want to share 
that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would not want to add that 
to their list? 


But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched a 
supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate for 
another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred Owl 
carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both ways 
before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their sights. It 
only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl viewing 
opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 


Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument is 
nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is disturbance 
and bad behavior. 


What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own judgement 
and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different judgement and 
ethics! 


"Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray area, 
and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in both my own 
birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of many others. To 
me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important than the border or 
the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But that's just me. Many will 
disagree. I'm fine with that. 


In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by no 
means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general disregard 
for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or even the 
integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are entitled (a 
rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep enough) to see 
every bird no matter what the circumstances? 


Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I can 
site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in places where 
general dissemination of information is just not possible: feeders viewed from 
only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just people who want their damn 
privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why are we so entitled to chase, 
see, and list every bird regardless of circumstances? 


Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and not 
everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with the world. 
Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see something, but in 
the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of other birds to be seen, 
listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- another 189,999 Great Gray Owls 
we hopefully will someday have a chance to see. 


If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I be 
obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my feeders 
(unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only be viewed 
from my kitchen? 


Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the first 
Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an issue? Had 
the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does any of that 
matter? 


Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are fewer. 
Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that mean we 
have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 


Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but of 
course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the Stud Mill 
Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all put the bird 
first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and other birders. I wish 
everyone the best photographs without the need for shenanigans, and I hope 
everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they happen to be working on. 


But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and the 
"bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry about 
whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so lucky as to 
find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same for most other 
owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in the meantime, I 
will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope everyone gets the 
chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, and supports those who 
support birding, and support bird conservation. Think about what's "good 
enough" before the bird flies away, consider the birder who's on their way, and 
consider the rights and wishes of the property owner. Post a report with 
instructions and cautions. Follow up with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. 
Use the Listserve to help other birders (positive and negative reports) and 
yes, it yes, always promote good behavior and educate the uninitiate 

 d.

I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to many 
of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and for your 
consideration. 


And now, back to my vacation.

Sincerely,
Derek

Sent from my iPhone

-- 
Maine birds mailing list
maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
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Subject: Re: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: Sally Blauvelt <sally.blauvelt AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:20:02 -0500
Thanks for your input, Derek.  

Sent from my iPad

> On Jan 18, 2017, at 9:01 PM, 'Derek Lovitch' via Maine birds 
 wrote: 

> 
> 
> Hi all,
> I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones without 
real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 

> 
> But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail.
> 
> Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got rare 
bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about disturbance, 
and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily disseminated with rare 
(and not rare) bird sightings. 

> 
> Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we 
can get the word out there where people have to see it. 

> 
> Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of interest 
info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, instructions are rare, 
and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code of Birding Ethics. Fewer and 
fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even know there's an American Birding 
Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. And those who do don't always follow 
it. And there are many, many more of "us." 

> 
> As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS coordinate 
with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. But rarely: what 
can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is private, etc. 

> 
> Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). This 
spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the nesting 
Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) I can site 
numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 

> 
> Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare 
ones and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 

> 
> Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the 
worst behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing "it didn't 
happen unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, etc, often 
birders, photographers, and generally interested onlookers forget that the bird 
should ALWAYS come first. 

> 
> But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy to 
answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being diurnal 
hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. But does that 
make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a much-"liked" 
selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does it matter? 

> 
> Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity (at 
least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the crowd. And 
with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would not want to share 
that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would not want to add that 
to their list? 

> 
> But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched a 
supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate for 
another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred Owl 
carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both ways 
before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their sights. It 
only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl viewing 
opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 

> 
> Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument is 
nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is disturbance 
and bad behavior. 

> 
> What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own judgement 
and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different judgement and 
ethics! 

> 
> "Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray area, 
and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in both my own 
birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of many others. To 
me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important than the border or 
the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But that's just me. Many will 
disagree. I'm fine with that. 

> 
> In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by no 
means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general disregard 
for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or even the 
integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are entitled (a 
rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep enough) to see 
every bird no matter what the circumstances? 

> 
> Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I 
can site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in places 
where general dissemination of information is just not possible: feeders viewed 
from only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just people who want their 
damn privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why are we so entitled to 
chase, see, and list every bird regardless of circumstances? 

> 
> Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and not 
everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with the world. 
Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see something, but in 
the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of other birds to be seen, 
listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- another 189,999 Great Gray Owls 
we hopefully will someday have a chance to see. 

> 
> If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I be 
obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my feeders 
(unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only be viewed 
from my kitchen? 

> 
> Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the 
first Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an issue? 
Had the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does any of that 
matter? 

> 
> Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are fewer. 
Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that mean we 
have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 

> 
> Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but of 
course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the Stud Mill 
Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all put the bird 
first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and other birders. I wish 
everyone the best photographs without the need for shenanigans, and I hope 
everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they happen to be working on. 

> 
> But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and the 
"bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry about 
whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so lucky as to 
find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same for most other 
owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in the meantime, I 
will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope everyone gets the 
chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, and supports those who 
support birding, and support bird conservation. Think about what's "good 
enough" before the bird flies away, consider the birder who's on their way, and 
consider the rights and wishes of the property owner. Post a report with 
instructions and cautions. Follow up with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. 
Use the Listserve to help other birders (positive and negative reports) and 
yes, it yes, always promote good behavior and educate the uninitiated. 

> 
> I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to many 
of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and for your 
consideration. 

> 
> And now, back to my vacation.
> 
> Sincerely,
> Derek
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> -- 
> Maine birds mailing list
> maine-birds AT googlegroups.com
> http://groups.google.com/group/maine-birds
> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207
> --- 
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Maine birds" group. 

> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
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> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

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Subject: On Great Gray Owls, ethics, and changes in birding
From: "'Derek Lovitch' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:01:26 -1000
Hi all,
I am always reticent to wade into such discussions, especially ones without 
real answers, and especially when we are on vacation! 


But here goes. As always, you know where to send the hate mail.

Not long ago, Listserve and before that, phone hotlines, were how we got rare 
bird info. When done well, "rules" about access, warnings about disturbance, 
and yes, "public shaming" for misbehavior, were easily disseminated with rare 
(and not rare) bird sightings. 


Not that everyone followed such directions and directives, but at least we can 
get the word out there where people have to see it. 


Now, phone hotlines are essentially extinct, listserves see fewer active 
participants, and more and more people get their rare bird/species of interest 
info from Facebook, eBird, etc. Details are often few, instructions are rare, 
and there's no mandatory viewing of the ABA's Code of Birding Ethics. Fewer and 
fewer "birders" today (by percentage) even know there's an American Birding 
Association, let alone a Code of Ethics. And those who do don't always follow 
it. And there are many, many more of "us." 


As we have seen recently, being able to simply navigate to a GPS coordinate 
with the push of a button, a bird and its location are known. But rarely: what 
can and cannot be done, what protocol is, what property is private, etc. 


Recently, we've seen the police show up because of the failure to engage a 
homeowner (another way simply common courtesy could have gone a long way). This 
spring, some truly appalling behavior was regularly witnessed at the nesting 
Great Horned Owls in Evergreen Cemetery (and that's a common bird!) I can site 
numerous examples, both good and bad, positive and negative. 


Owls are awesome. I wish everyone would get the chance to see them - rare ones 
and common ones. I don't know any birders who see "enough" owls. 


Unfortunately, that same charisma, coupled with rarity, can bring out the worst 
behavior in people. With a camera in every pocket, a growing "it didn't happen 
unless I put it on Facebook/eBird/Instagram/etc" mentality, etc, often birders, 
photographers, and generally interested onlookers forget that the bird should 
ALWAYS come first. 


But what constitutes a disturbance? Harm? Too much? That's not always easy to 
answer. We now know that most Snowy Owls are not starving, and being diurnal 
hunters, they are less impacted by being flushed during the day. But does that 
make it OK to harass it? Chase it for the perfect photo or a much-"liked" 
selfie? When does the cumulative impact become a problem? Does it matter? 


Great Gray Owls are the pinnacle of charisma. Coupled with their rarity (at 
least within the range of most of humanity), they attract quite the crowd. And 
with good reason! Who would not want to see a GGOW? Who would not want to share 
that with a youngster - birding's future? And, who would not want to add that 
to their list? 


But if 1 person goes too far, it can ruin it for everyone. I once watched a 
supposed "expert" birder bait a Northern Hawk-Owl with a mouse (a debate for 
another day) across a busy highway. As we know (just look at the Barred Owl 
carcasses along the interstates this winter), raptors don't look both ways 
before crossing - especially when they have an easy meal in their sights. It 
only takes one poorly timed vehicle to have ruined that hawk-owl viewing 
opportunity for all. Not to mention the owl! 


Whether one of 1, 1 of 190,000, or 1 of a billion, the population argument is 
nothing more than a red herring. Disturbance and bad behavior is disturbance 
and bad behavior. 


What constitutes disturbance and bad behavior is a much tougher question, 
however. We don't have a definitive answer, so we are left to our own judgement 
and personal ethics. And as we know, everyone has different judgement and 
ethics! 


"Disturbance" and "harassment" is not black and white, it's a wide gray area, 
and so we are left to draw our own lines. Personally, my line - in both my own 
birding and my professional guiding - is drawn well ahead of many others. To 
me, the bird is always, and will always, be more important than the border or 
the list. I err waaaayyyy on the side of caution. But that's just me. Many will 
disagree. I'm fine with that. 


In recent years, more and more (a reflection of society, obviously, and by no 
means exclusive to birding!), we're seeing a sense of entitlement and 
selfishness that leads to poor judgement, bad behavior, or a general disregard 
for other people. Other birders, homeowners, property owners, or even the 
integrity of public lands and habitats. Why do we feel we are entitled (a 
rhetorical question at the moment; this debate is going deep enough) to see 
every bird no matter what the circumstances? 


Just because we are all birders do we have more rights than a homeowner? I can 
site numerous specific instances of rarities that have shown up in places where 
general dissemination of information is just not possible: feeders viewed from 
only indoors; private lanes with no parking; or just people who want their damn 
privacy. Why don't they have those rights? Why are we so entitled to chase, 
see, and list every bird regardless of circumstances? 


Sorry, I just don't believe we do. It's just not how the world works and not 
everyone has the same inherent interest in sharing "their bird" with the world. 
Sometimes it sucks, especially for those who don't get to see something, but in 
the end, it's just a bird, and there are a whole lot of other birds to be seen, 
listed, and photographed. There are indeed +\- another 189,999 Great Gray Owls 
we hopefully will someday have a chance to see. 


If I have a dinner party and most of of my friends come are birders, am I 
entitled to post this to the Listserve? Of course not! But then why would I be 
obligated to open my home to all birders should a rarity show up at my feeders 
(unfortunately, such a conundrum has yet to occur?) which can only be viewed 
from my kitchen? 


Most of us do not know the circumstances surrounding the "hiding" of the first 
Great Gray Owl report. Was it on private property? Was parking an issue? Had 
the observer witness some horrific incident in the past? Does any of that 
matter? 


Now there's a bird along the Stud Mill Road where considerations are fewer. 
Well, other than not getting run over by a logging truck. Does that mean we 
have more "freedom" to do stupid or naive things there? 


Of course I hope everyone is an ethical birder/photographer/onlooker, but of 
course we all know not everyone is. So I hope all goes well along the Stud Mill 
Road: tons of people get to see a magnificent bird, people all put the bird 
first and foremost, and birders look out for the bird and other birders. I wish 
everyone the best photographs without the need for shenanigans, and I hope 
everyone gets to add GGOW to whatever list they happen to be working on. 


But for me personally, until "the best" behavior becomes universal, and the 
"bad" behavior becomes isolated to the point of extinction, I too worry about 
whether I will post a Great Gray Owl if I should happen to be so lucky as to 
find one. Honestly, I probably won't. And that goes the same for most other 
owls, raptor nests, and other very sensitive species. But in the meantime, I 
will continue to share almost all of my sightings, and hope everyone gets the 
chance to enjoy them as well. And puts the birds first, and supports those who 
support birding, and support bird conservation. Think about what's "good 
enough" before the bird flies away, consider the birder who's on their way, and 
consider the rights and wishes of the property owner. Post a report with 
instructions and cautions. Follow up with a "thanks" when circumstances allow. 
Use the Listserve to help other birders (positive and negative reports) and 
yes, it yes, always promote good behavior and educate the uninitiated. 


I wish I had some revelatory proposal or declaration. Or even answers to many 
of the questions. But for now, I will simply thank you for reading and for your 
consideration. 


And now, back to my vacation.

Sincerely,
Derek

Sent from my iPhone

-- 
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Subject: pink on white
From: Don and Sherry Reimer <sherreal AT hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:51:30 +0000




________________________________
From: Don and Sherry Reimer 
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:34 PM
To: maine-birds AT googlegroups.org
Subject: pink on white



After an absence of several days, the two pink-footed geese returned to the 
snow-skimmed school football field in Rockland around 9:30 this morning. 



Don




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Subject: bohemians
From: Sarah Caputo <catbird338 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:07:25 +0000
Large flock of Bohemian Waxwings in my yard this morning as I was leaving. I'm 
pretty sure they wait for me to be gone and then raid the crabapple tree. 


Sarah

Montville

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Subject: Belfast Bay census of Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2016
From: Ronald Harrell <rharrell9 AT gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:07:15 -0500
Gary Gulezian and I did the census.   The morning was pleasant (calm, 20's
to 30's, partly cloudy), which made the birding relatively easy.
Highlights included two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, six Bald Eagles, and a
hybrid Mallard x American Black Duck.  Although we found 19 species plus
the hybrid, no grebes were seen.  For the first time Mallards (495)
outnumbered Herring Gulls (426).  Altogether 1189 birds were counted.  The
full report is on ebird at

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/email?subID=S33760827

Ron Harrell

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Subject: King Eider still present 1/17
From: Erin Lehnert <erlehner AT mtu.edu>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:43:51 -0500
The King Eider is still hanging around. Was east of the fish pier
mid-afternoon today near the cleanup response boats.

Erin Lehnert

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Subject: Bullock's oriole
From: Janet Galle <Janetgalle AT gwi.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:31:46 -0500
Viewed from the parking lot off Washington Street, Camden. You can go quietly 
near the wood pile there and not disturb anyone, hopefully. 

This beautiful bird (I was surprised at how bright his colors are) arrived at 
12:28 and ate for 10 minutes at what I assume is the meal worm feeder. 

A fellow in a truck parked asked me if
I was looking for the "hawk"…..then my husband and I found three piles of 
feathers where apparently something (pigeon?) was torn apart on 

the edge of the parking area.

Camden harbor - hen gadwall, 3 common goldeneyes, lots of mallards 
(entertaining), 2 common loons, gulls. 

Beautiful day to be out.



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Subject: Sharpie - Bar Harbor 17 Jan
From: Carol Muth <suzmuth AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:28:47 -0500
Unless I am mistaken...
It did a thorough investigation of the perches near the bird-feeder.
Two photos at www.acadiabirds.wordpress.com
Corrections are always appreciated.
              Carol

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Subject: RE: Great Grey in Skowhegan
From: "Sean Smith" <therefromhere168 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:54:33 -0500
With respect to Scott, who responded to my post, his assertions are opinion and 
not science-based and they do not disprove the many incidences of owls who 
starved to death while being bothered by human observers. I distinctly recall 
specific documentations and long conversations about these incidents on the 
bird list during the past 10 years (and interestingly, Great Gray Owl was the 
only species I remember these incidents happening to) but I don’t have access 
to those archives. Maybe someone else does? Good birding, 



Sean Smith

 

 

 

From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com [mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com] On 
Behalf Of Scott Cronenweth 

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 2:38 PM
To: Maine Birds 
Subject: Re: [Maine-birds] Great Grey in Skowhegan

 

An observation, birding friends: Many owls and diurnal raptors hunt 
successfully in the midst of highway noise and urban racket. Snowy Owls can 
hear the scuttling of mice in faraway bow traps over the roar of nearby jet 
engines, as Norm Smith has routinely observed at Logan Airport. (We just 
don’t know how the heck that’s possible!) 


 

If all it took was a decibel clash of wind noise over open ground, or the 
excited chatter of birders or Blue Jays, to blot out an owl’s 
hunting-hearing, they probably would’ve have flown silently across the past 
however-many million years. 


 

Peace & happy ethical owl-viewing,

 

Scott Cronenweth

Farmington, ME

scottcronenweth AT icloud.com  

 

 

On Jan 17, 2017, at 1:52 PM, Sean Smith  > wrote: 


 

As I think Derek pointed out at the time when the 2006 Great Gray Owl met its 
fate, owls hunt by hearing, but that thought doesn’t seem to enter a lot of 
owl spectators’ minds. The first things I noticed when arriving at Milford to 
see the 2006 GGO were: 


 

1. Over a dozen birders standing around excitedly gabbing to each other in loud 
voices about 100 feet from the owl while waiting to take pictures of it, as if 
they were in line at a rock concert. There was a loud, constant stream of 
chatter. How would anyone expect it to be able to hear prey? Or did they even 
care? 

2. Some people standing WAY too close to the bird for the selfish reason of 
getting ultra- close photos, instead of observing it from a respectful 
distance. 

3. A dog barking loudly inside someone’s vehicle and you could see the owl 
was bothered because of its movements & expression whenever the dog barked. 


 

I don’t think any Great Gray Owl that ends up in Maine is expendable for 
peoples’ entertainment. I know the majority of birders would behave 
themselves but it only takes a couple of morons to stress the owl, which by its 
nature won’t do what other species would consider the sensible thing by 
taking off and hiding from them. 


 

 

Sean Smith

 

From:  maine-birds AT googlegroups.com [ 
 mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com] On 
Behalf Of Andrew Block 

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:27 PM
To: Maine birds <  
maine-birds AT googlegroups.com> 

Subject: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan

 

I agree Bill.  Great post.

 

Andrew

On Monday, January 16, 2017 at 5:46:31 PM UTC-5, Bill wrote:

Before too much more angst is expressed about the presumed stress the Skowhegan 
Great Grey Owl might feel from a comparatively few people looking at it with 
telescopic optics, it might be worthwhile to consider this bird in perspective. 
The worldwide population of this species is estimated at 190,000 individuals 
with 90,000 of them in North America (Partners in Flight, 2013). Happily, its 
conservation status is as a "species of least concern," and its numbers are 
considered to be increasing. By no means am I suggesting that this excuses 
birders from acting with respect when viewing this bird, but presuming it is 
any more fragile or precious than any other stakeout bird--much less issuing 
blanket condemnations of the birding community--hardly seems warranted. A 
couple of times each winter a Great Grey Owl turns up in Maine to the delight 
of a few people who get to see it. For some of those people it will be a bird 
they won't forget, and the experience might even generate more votes for 
conservation. Why not share this opportunity? Goodness, literally hundreds of 
Snowy Owls are legally shot at airports across North America every winter and 
we are worrying about a single Great Grey Owl turning its head to look at us? 


 

Bill Hancock,

Gray

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Subject: Great Gray Owl - Stud Mill Rd.
From: John Wyatt & Debbie Ryan <birdsnbeads AT roadrunner.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:41:04 -0500
With the recent discussion on MEBirds about the real or perceived 
“harassment,” or potential “harassment,” of certain birds I hesitate to 
post this, but, there was a Great Gray Owl seen along the Stud Mill Rd. this 
morning. It was perched on a dead snag in a frozen marshy area 1.3 to 1.5 miles 
east of the County Rd., Stud Mill Rd. intersection. I believe the location 
would be in Hancock County just past the Milford town line. The bird was easily 
seen from the road. 


I’m hardly perfect myself in terms of not getting too close to a bird. I’m 
a bit over eager and excited at times, but I do try to do better and I 
completely agree with Bill Hancock’s post. Hopefully any one going there will 
follow the advice given by Bob Duchesne and others in regards to viewing a bird 
like this - keep a respectful distance and do no harm and, like me, try to do 
better. 


If you go to look for this bird, I’d like to make these recommendations;

1) Stay in your vehicle. The owl was not far from the road this morning and you 
can take photos from there and eat potato chips and drink coffee or something 
at the same time. 


2) Be aware that the Stud Mill Rd. is an active logging road. Logging trucks 
have the right away. It is an ICY road too. Bring sand in your vehicle in case 
you go off the road. 


3) Take a beginning Birder with you if you know one. This bird is a real 
beauty. 


Good Birding and Good Luck,
John

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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17
From: Maggie Strickland <gallinasviejas AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:38:36 -0500
Seems to me our compassion for these creatures we so admire should not be
distilled by numbers of their species.

Maggie Strickland
Harmony, ME

On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 2:28 PM, Sean Smith 
wrote:

> I hope anyone who goes to see either bird will follow the ABA code of
> ethics, not just 1) b where it refers to not stressing observed species but
> also 4) b:
>
> "If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation and
> intervene if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s)
> of the inappropriate action and attempt, within reason, to have it stopped.
> If the behavior continues, document it and notify appropriate individuals
> or organizations."
>
> If individuals are being bad wildlife observers, step in and say something
> to them.   Give them the opportunity to correct their behavior.  But if
> that doesn't work, document their actions on video.   Also feel free to
> post your video on your blog or youtube.    As many people know, recently
> there have been quite a few videos of people harassing and interacting
> inappropriately with wildlife that have gotten much-deserved attention and
> gone viral.
>
> Sean Smith
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com [mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com]
> On Behalf Of Doug Hitchcox
> Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 2:09 PM
> To: Bird Alerts 
> Subject: [Maine-birds] Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17
>
> Hi everyone:
>
> Excuse my brevity of this report but I'm posting from the road in AZ; just
> got Juniper Titmouse at the Grand Canyon.
>
> John Wyatt called to report he found a Great Gray Owl on the Stud Mill
> Road near the Sunkhaze Meadows this morning, 1/17. I don't know the exact
> location but I recommend checking eBird or hopefully John will post
> directions here when he's no longer in the field.
>
> There has been a good conversation about the ethics of owl viewing here
> lately, so please use this as an opportunity to set a good example.
>
> Good birding,
>
>
> Doug Hitchcox
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
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Subject: Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan
From: Scott Cronenweth <scottcronenweth AT icloud.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:37:31 -0500
An observation, birding friends: Many owls and diurnal raptors hunt 
successfully in the midst of highway noise and urban racket. Snowy Owls can 
hear the scuttling of mice in faraway bow traps over the roar of nearby jet 
engines, as Norm Smith has routinely observed at Logan Airport. (We just 
don’t know how the heck that’s possible!) 


If all it took was a decibel clash of wind noise over open ground, or the 
excited chatter of birders or Blue Jays, to blot out an owl’s 
hunting-hearing, they probably would’ve have flown silently across the past 
however-many million years. 


Peace & happy ethical owl-viewing,

Scott Cronenweth
Farmington, ME
scottcronenweth AT icloud.com 


> On Jan 17, 2017, at 1:52 PM, Sean Smith  wrote:
> 
> As I think Derek pointed out at the time when the 2006 Great Gray Owl met its 
fate, owls hunt by hearing, but that thought doesn’t seem to enter a lot of 
owl spectators’ minds. The first things I noticed when arriving at Milford to 
see the 2006 GGO were: 

>  
> Over a dozen birders standing around excitedly gabbing to each other in loud 
voices about 100 feet from the owl while waiting to take pictures of it, as if 
they were in line at a rock concert. There was a loud, constant stream of 
chatter. How would anyone expect it to be able to hear prey? Or did they even 
care? 

> Some people standing WAY too close to the bird for the selfish reason of 
getting ultra- close photos, instead of observing it from a respectful 
distance. 

> A dog barking loudly inside someone’s vehicle and you could see the owl was 
bothered because of its movements & expression whenever the dog barked. 

>  
> I don’t think any Great Gray Owl that ends up in Maine is expendable for 
peoples’ entertainment. I know the majority of birders would behave 
themselves but it only takes a couple of morons to stress the owl, which by its 
nature won’t do what other species would consider the sensible thing by 
taking off and hiding from them. 

>  
>  
> Sean Smith
>  
> From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com  
[mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com ] On 
Behalf Of Andrew Block 

> Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:27 PM
> To: Maine birds > 

> Subject: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan
>  
> I agree Bill.  Great post.
>  
> Andrew
> 
> On Monday, January 16, 2017 at 5:46:31 PM UTC-5, Bill wrote:
>> Before too much more angst is expressed about the presumed stress the 
Skowhegan Great Grey Owl might feel from a comparatively few people looking at 
it with telescopic optics, it might be worthwhile to consider this bird in 
perspective. The worldwide population of this species is estimated at 190,000 
individuals with 90,000 of them in North America (Partners in Flight, 2013). 
Happily, its conservation status is as a "species of least concern," and its 
numbers are considered to be increasing. By no means am I suggesting that this 
excuses birders from acting with respect when viewing this bird, but presuming 
it is any more fragile or precious than any other stakeout bird--much less 
issuing blanket condemnations of the birding community--hardly seems warranted. 
A couple of times each winter a Great Grey Owl turns up in Maine to the delight 
of a few people who get to see it. For some of those people it will be a bird 
they won't forget, and the experience might even generate more votes for 
conservation. Why not share this opportunity? Goodness, literally hundreds of 
Snowy Owls are legally shot at airports across North America every winter and 
we are worrying about a single Great Grey Owl turning its head to look at us? 

>>  
>> Bill Hancock,
>> Gray
> 
> -- 
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> https://sites.google.com/site/birding207 
 

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Subject: RE: Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17
From: "Sean Smith" <therefromhere168 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:28:31 -0500
I hope anyone who goes to see either bird will follow the ABA code of ethics, 
not just 1) b where it refers to not stressing observed species but also 4) b: 


"If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation and intervene 
if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s) of the 
inappropriate action and attempt, within reason, to have it stopped. If the 
behavior continues, document it and notify appropriate individuals or 
organizations." 


If individuals are being bad wildlife observers, step in and say something to 
them. Give them the opportunity to correct their behavior. But if that doesn't 
work, document their actions on video. Also feel free to post your video on 
your blog or youtube. As many people know, recently there have been quite a few 
videos of people harassing and interacting inappropriately with wildlife that 
have gotten much-deserved attention and gone viral. 


Sean Smith

-----Original Message-----
From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com [mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com] On 
Behalf Of Doug Hitchcox 

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 2:09 PM
To: Bird Alerts 
Subject: [Maine-birds] Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17

Hi everyone:

Excuse my brevity of this report but I'm posting from the road in AZ; just got 
Juniper Titmouse at the Grand Canyon. 


John Wyatt called to report he found a Great Gray Owl on the Stud Mill Road 
near the Sunkhaze Meadows this morning, 1/17. I don't know the exact location 
but I recommend checking eBird or hopefully John will post directions here when 
he's no longer in the field. 


There has been a good conversation about the ethics of owl viewing here lately, 
so please use this as an opportunity to set a good example. 


Good birding,


Doug Hitchcox

Sent from my iPhone

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Subject: Re: Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17
From: "'Jennifer Cummings' via Maine birds" <maine-birds AT googlegroups.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 19:14:10 +0000 (UTC)
Is this in Princeton, ME? ____________________________________Jennifer K. 
Cummings 

Falmouth, Maine



 
      From: Doug Hitchcox 
 To: Bird Alerts  
 Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 2:09 PM
 Subject: [Maine-birds] Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17
   
Hi everyone:

Excuse my brevity of this report but I'm posting from the road in AZ; just got 
Juniper Titmouse at the Grand Canyon. 


John Wyatt called to report he found a Great Gray Owl on the Stud Mill Road 
near the Sunkhaze Meadows this morning, 1/17. I don't know the exact location 
but I recommend checking eBird or hopefully John will post directions here when 
he's no longer in the field. 


There has been a good conversation about the ethics of owl viewing here lately, 
so please use this as an opportunity to set a good example. 


Good birding,


Doug Hitchcox

Sent from my iPhone

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Subject: Great Gray Owl - near Sunkhaze Meadows, 1/17
From: Doug Hitchcox <dhitchcox AT mac.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:09:20 -0700
Hi everyone:

Excuse my brevity of this report but I'm posting from the road in AZ; just got 
Juniper Titmouse at the Grand Canyon. 


John Wyatt called to report he found a Great Gray Owl on the Stud Mill Road 
near the Sunkhaze Meadows this morning, 1/17. I don't know the exact location 
but I recommend checking eBird or hopefully John will post directions here when 
he's no longer in the field. 


There has been a good conversation about the ethics of owl viewing here lately, 
so please use this as an opportunity to set a good example. 


Good birding,


Doug Hitchcox

Sent from my iPhone

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Subject: RE: Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan
From: Jeff Wells <jeffwells AT borealbirds.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 19:08:37 +0000
Perhaps interesting also to consider the contrast from many decades ago when 
most records of irruptive northern owls came from tallies of the number that 
arrived at taxidermists after being shot. 


Jeff Wells

From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com [mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com] On 
Behalf Of Sean Smith 

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:53 PM
To: Maine Birding List
Subject: RE: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan

As I think Derek pointed out at the time when the 2006 Great Gray Owl met its 
fate, owls hunt by hearing, but that thought doesn’t seem to enter a lot of 
owl spectators’ minds. The first things I noticed when arriving at Milford to 
see the 2006 GGO were: 



 1. Over a dozen birders standing around excitedly gabbing to each other in 
loud voices about 100 feet from the owl while waiting to take pictures of it, 
as if they were in line at a rock concert. There was a loud, constant stream of 
chatter. How would anyone expect it to be able to hear prey? Or did they even 
care? 

 2. Some people standing WAY too close to the bird for the selfish reason of 
getting ultra- close photos, instead of observing it from a respectful 
distance. 

 3. A dog barking loudly inside someone’s vehicle and you could see the owl 
was bothered because of its movements & expression whenever the dog barked. 


I don’t think any Great Gray Owl that ends up in Maine is expendable for 
peoples’ entertainment. I know the majority of birders would behave 
themselves but it only takes a couple of morons to stress the owl, which by its 
nature won’t do what other species would consider the sensible thing by 
taking off and hiding from them. 



Sean Smith

From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com 
[mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Andrew Block 

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:27 PM
To: Maine birds 
> 

Subject: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan

I agree Bill.  Great post.

Andrew

On Monday, January 16, 2017 at 5:46:31 PM UTC-5, Bill wrote:

Before too much more angst is expressed about the presumed stress the Skowhegan 
Great Grey Owl might feel from a comparatively few people looking at it with 
telescopic optics, it might be worthwhile to consider this bird in perspective. 
The worldwide population of this species is estimated at 190,000 individuals 
with 90,000 of them in North America (Partners in Flight, 2013). Happily, its 
conservation status is as a "species of least concern," and its numbers are 
considered to be increasing. By no means am I suggesting that this excuses 
birders from acting with respect when viewing this bird, but presuming it is 
any more fragile or precious than any other stakeout bird--much less issuing 
blanket condemnations of the birding community--hardly seems warranted. A 
couple of times each winter a Great Grey Owl turns up in Maine to the delight 
of a few people who get to see it. For some of those people it will be a bird 
they won't forget, and the experience might even generate more votes for 
conservation. Why not share this opportunity? Goodness, literally hundreds of 
Snowy Owls are legally shot at airports across North America every winter and 
we are worrying about a single Great Grey Owl turning its head to look at us? 




Bill Hancock,

Gray
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Subject: RE: Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan
From: "Sean Smith" <therefromhere168 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:52:46 -0500
As I think Derek pointed out at the time when the 2006 Great Gray Owl met its 
fate, owls hunt by hearing, but that thought doesn’t seem to enter a lot of 
owl spectators’ minds. The first things I noticed when arriving at Milford to 
see the 2006 GGO were: 


 

1. Over a dozen birders standing around excitedly gabbing to each other in loud 
voices about 100 feet from the owl while waiting to take pictures of it, as if 
they were in line at a rock concert. There was a loud, constant stream of 
chatter. How would anyone expect it to be able to hear prey? Or did they even 
care? 

2. Some people standing WAY too close to the bird for the selfish reason of 
getting ultra- close photos, instead of observing it from a respectful 
distance. 

3. A dog barking loudly inside someone’s vehicle and you could see the owl 
was bothered because of its movements & expression whenever the dog barked. 


 

I don’t think any Great Gray Owl that ends up in Maine is expendable for 
peoples’ entertainment. I know the majority of birders would behave 
themselves but it only takes a couple of morons to stress the owl, which by its 
nature won’t do what other species would consider the sensible thing by 
taking off and hiding from them. 


 

 

Sean Smith

 

From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com [mailto:maine-birds AT googlegroups.com] On 
Behalf Of Andrew Block 

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:27 PM
To: Maine birds 
Subject: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan

 

I agree Bill.  Great post.

 

Andrew

On Monday, January 16, 2017 at 5:46:31 PM UTC-5, Bill wrote:

Before too much more angst is expressed about the presumed stress the Skowhegan 
Great Grey Owl might feel from a comparatively few people looking at it with 
telescopic optics, it might be worthwhile to consider this bird in perspective. 
The worldwide population of this species is estimated at 190,000 individuals 
with 90,000 of them in North America (Partners in Flight, 2013). Happily, its 
conservation status is as a "species of least concern," and its numbers are 
considered to be increasing. By no means am I suggesting that this excuses 
birders from acting with respect when viewing this bird, but presuming it is 
any more fragile or precious than any other stakeout bird--much less issuing 
blanket condemnations of the birding community--hardly seems warranted. A 
couple of times each winter a Great Grey Owl turns up in Maine to the delight 
of a few people who get to see it. For some of those people it will be a bird 
they won't forget, and the experience might even generate more votes for 
conservation. Why not share this opportunity? Goodness, literally hundreds of 
Snowy Owls are legally shot at airports across North America every winter and 
we are worrying about a single Great Grey Owl turning its head to look at us? 


 

Bill Hancock,

Gray

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Subject: Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan
From: Sean Hatch <seanarih AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:51:46 -0800 (PST)
I would love to see this owl. I have met many on the birding trail in Maine 
since i started birding 7 years ago and never once have I thought anyone to be 
disrespectful to the birds. But that's just me. 


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Subject: Re: Re: Great Gray Skowhegan
From: Sharon F. <sfinley111 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:49:21 +0000
Excellent suggestion by Peter!  Sharon in West K.


________________________________
From: maine-birds AT googlegroups.com  on behalf of 
Peter Vickery  

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:03 AM
To: Fyn Kynd; Maine birds
Subject: Re: [Maine-birds] Re: Great Gray Skowhegan

How about everyone who does go agrees to go agrees to leave their cameras at 
home or in the vehicle? Just enjoy really looking at the bird. Is that really 
feathering on those impossibly long legs, and where are those legs anyway? 


I know we'll all miss hundreds of Natl Geo quality pics but this could be a 
great way for the photographers among us, certainly me as well, to demonstrate 
that we can be responsible around owls, not always an easy task given how 
charismatic they are. Just a thought. Best, Peter 



On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 10:41 AM Fyn Kynd 
> wrote: 

Exactly my thoughts Bill, people should be able to see this great rare bird. 
The majority of the people who will go to view this owl will not harass it. 


Good birding,
Fyn








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Subject: Re: Great Grey in Skowhegan
From: Andrew Block <andrewblock7 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:26:32 -0800 (PST)
I agree Bill.  Great post.

Andrew

On Monday, January 16, 2017 at 5:46:31 PM UTC-5, Bill wrote:
>
> Before too much more angst is expressed about the presumed stress the 
> Skowhegan Great Grey Owl might feel from a comparatively few people looking 
> at it with telescopic optics, it might be worthwhile to consider this bird 
> in perspective. The worldwide population of this species is estimated at 
> 190,000 individuals with 90,000 of them in North America (Partners in 
> Flight, 2013). Happily, its conservation status is as a "species of least 
> concern," and its numbers are considered to be increasing. By no means am I 
> suggesting that this excuses birders from acting with respect when viewing 
> this bird, but presuming it is any more fragile or precious than any other 
> stakeout bird--much less issuing blanket condemnations of the birding 
> community--hardly seems warranted. A couple of times each winter a Great 
> Grey Owl turns up in Maine to the delight of a few people who get to see 
> it. For some of those people it will be a bird they won't forget, and the 
> experience might even generate more votes for conservation. Why not share 
> this opportunity? Goodness, literally hundreds of Snowy Owls are legally 
> shot at airports across North America every winter and we are worrying 
> about a single Great Grey Owl turning its head to look at us? 
>
>  
>
> Bill Hancock,
>
> Gray
>

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