To Share Or Not To Share
Outdoor Ontario

To Share Or Not To Share

Axeman

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Recently there were a number of posts on my cottage association's FB page showing pix of Bald Eagles. The posts were by non birders and casual nature enthusiasts...the BE's are causing a buzz with everyone....one of the posts had pix of 4 or 5 BE's roosting in a tree at our lake's edge..


I posted replies admiring the photos and asking whereabouts were they spotted and the answers came back that they couldn't share b/c of fears that the birds would be harmed by hordes of menacing bloodthirsty birders.


BE's as we are all aware, are bouncing back nicely and have been moved to species of concern. And of course the decline was due to morons with guns and the poorly thought out use of DDT....plus the fact that we love building homes and cottages along shorelines....which includes grass to the exclusion of native / natural vegetation....


I have to say I am frustrated -- true there is anecdotal evidence of birders behaving poorly when it came to interacting with private landowners (eg. a few years ago that poor wayward Phainopepla in Brampton back in 2009....oh my has it been over a decade??? Or the Hawk Owl killed by landowner in Washington back in 2016)...those stories are not the rule....and in this case, the bigger or most serious threat to the continuing success of the BE comeback is civilization as a whole....


Shortly after the posts (one of which was retracted by the poster out of concern for the safety of the BE's), there was a well publicized talk given by a doctoral student on her work assessing water quality on our lake...predictably there were few attendees....the talk was informative and gave palpable direction we can take in changing our behaviours to improve water quality....which would have an impact on local BE populations....and no, none of the BE posters attended.


I can't quite articulate my frustration....I guess I shake my head at people doing silly -- yes I think it's silly not to share for fear of hordes of birders descending and killing / harming the birds -- things and thinking that will protect the birds but the actual work that will make a difference, they're not willing to do....it's kinda like standing out at the end of the driveway to sing Oh Canada in tribute to health care workers at the start of the pandemic but not getting vaccinated, not wearing a mask or social distancing or isolating when you should......


I think it's perfectly fine to disclose a general geographical location, particularly if it's public lands....I do get protecting a land owner's right and keeping a specific private location secret.


Whew. I feel better.


Shortsighted

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 While birding remains a rather pedestrian pursuit when ranked on a scale of esoteric pastimes and therefore draws an assembly, but not an unruly hormone-fuelled mob as with disorganized sport, it is popular enough to enfranchise the competitive demon in many of us. Not you of course, because you are too well-informed and easy-going to let your emotions alone pilot your behavior. If that is not a fair assessment then we can bring it up at the next meeting but I assure you that I won’t be there. Anyway, the gladiatorial nature of some birders, but mostly the same prevailing temperament of certain bird photographers that require noteworthy results to buttress their envious standing in the shutterbug community, real or imagined, can anticipate a display of bad actions catalyzed by poor judgment. The competitive drive of an observational birder is more likely directed toward the weight of his/her life-list than the length of their photographic prowess. Maybe some of these competitive types should smoke more weed and chill, except their bodies will hate them for that … another bad decision. Whereas birders might consider a Big Year, some Big Shots expect every outing to be a Big Day. When a nature photographer’s identity is wrapped-up in their hobby they are very likely to take things too far. The practice of not posting certain sightings when those sightings involve rare or endangered species is only protocol because of the few rowdy participants and once again it comes down to the common denominator. If all birders demonstrated impeccable behavior as expected from the likes of a professional then reporting all bird sightings would be more catholic. Oh, look … over there … farther to the right … you see it? It’s another knuckleheaded bird photographer. OMG, he looks like me! Could be worse. She could look like me.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2022, 08:14:34 pm by Shortsighted »