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VTBIRD  February 2003

VTBIRD February 2003

Subject:

Victory Bog Gray Jay(long)

From:

William Barnard <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 23 Feb 2003 14:05:34 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (65 lines)

I need the help of Vermont birders. I am engaged in a long term study
of a colorbanded population of a Gray Jays.  For 12 years with help
from Norwich University, Central Vermont Audubon,  Nongame and  Natural
Heritage Program ( VT Fish and Wildlife) and some corporate sponsors
(Patagonia, Merrell, Tubbs), I have been studying the Gray Jay
population in Victory Bog.  On this past Saturday, 22 Feb, at
10:00-10:30 AM someone found one of my traps at the "Chickadee
Re-Tweet"  parking area in Victory.  Someone took the trap off the
snowbank and ran over it with their vehicle.  I had left two signs.
One was an official sign from the Bird Banding Laboratory indicating I
was a licensed bander and another personal note I left indicating I was
going up the road to check on another trap and would be back in a half
hour.  After they destroyed one trap they went up the road and took two
more traps out of the back of my pickup truck while I was up the trail
on skiis.

There are two things here.  One is the loss of the traps.  This is a
shoestring research project and the traps, valued at $240 are
irreplaceable.  Traps of their quality are not available on the open
market.  But more importantly, I have concluded that the person(s) that
did this are birders and hopefully are members of this list.  I have
been banding birds for 32 years and  have had three previous instances
of trap vandalization and all were done by well meaning birders who
simply did not like to see birds confined.  I do not either, but I
justify doing so on the basis that the knowledge gained is valuable to
both us and the birds.  Many of my Gray Jays are "trap happy" and I
catch them over and over again.  Before and after the trap incident I
caught three Gray Jays Saturday at Chickadee pull off and all were
recaptures from within the past month. They had each been caught 1-8
times before. The second issue, is that I really would like these
people to know that I respect their view and concerns but it is a
federal offense and I feel violated having stuff stolen from my truck.
It changes how I can do my research.

My reason for writing this email is to contact the person(s) that
either took my traps or know who did.  At first I thought it was a
local but now am convinced it was probably someone who found the trap
and a bird in it and became angry.  A local would not have driven into
the parking lot and, if they had objected to my research they have had
12 years to complain to me.  A man and a woman in a short-bed black
pickup truck, Toyota or a foreign make, with a cap and a roof rack were
driving back and forth the Victory Bog road all morning slowly as if
looking for birds or wildlife. I believe they have knowledge of the
incident.  The truck had Vermont plates.

Vermont birders are a small group and interact.  I really would
appreciated knowing who were in that truck.  If you recognize the truck
or hear someone talk about birding in Victory that day, I really would
appreciated it if you might either speak to them and ask if they know
where my traps are or contact me offline so I can try to talk to them.

Thank you, I apologize for taking the bandwidth.

Bill


----------------------------
William H. Barnard
Biology Department
Norwich University
Northfield, VT 05663
email: [log in to unmask]
Phone  (0ffice) 802-485-2342
Fax; 802-485-2333

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