Sunday, 19 January 2014

Great Grey Owl baited by photographer

The barred owl we found on the highway.
Hit by a car when it was hunting mice.
There are many bird lovers who complain about cats. There are many bird lovers who complain about humans, too. With the owl irruption from the north, professional and semi-professional photographers (not necessarily 'birders', since they are behaving unethically), are out preying on the owls. Birders, bless their hearts, are unafraid of speaking out on behalf of their birds.

Ethical birders keep their distance, set up, take a few photos, bracketing their shots, and leave the bird in peace. They refrain from acting like a human (making noise to attract its attention, baiting it, using noisemakers, using a flash). These owls are having a tough enough time as it is without citiots standing out in the fields trying to exploit these owls.

Now, serious birders have a website, with a listserv that informs members about hot spots for birds. Perhaps, it is a bad thing. This guy showed up, with his cooler full of white mice, and set up across the street. This meant that the owl would have to fly across the road, and risk getting hit by a car (fairly common), while he got his photo.

Toronto Street posted this story. Unfortunately, the vulgar ads beside means you may not want to read the entire article! I'm just sayin'. It's not a website for THIS grandmother!
"Birders posted his behaviour on the popular OntBirds board, trigering outrage amongst many."
Today, while watching a beautiful Great Gray Owl in Brooklin along with many other birders and photographers, an individual showed up with a cooler full of mice.


eileeninmd said...

It is sad when the photographers are baiting the owls to get their photos. I try not to hang around the birds for too long, I do not like to harass them. They deserve their peace and space.

Red said...

The mouse bait is certainly used by researchers and they're a way off in the bush. They use a fishing rod and make a cast with an imitation mouse on the line. It works at night too.

Kay L. Davies said...

A new word for me, Jenn — "citiots" which I take to mean "city idiots" and I love it.
The man with the mice was certainly unscrupulous and unethical, but he might argue that backyard birdfeeders do the same thing. Still, I'd like to slap him upside the head, because he's awful.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Unethical behavior (I was afraid to go to the link...if its too much for you I'm sure it would be for this great-grandmother.)! Your words are enough to make me sad for this horrible behavior.

Kay said...

Well... like always humans seem to often cause more trouble than any other creature.