As an avian photographer who's regrettably heard this story all to often I'd like to weigh in on this discussion.
Never is it OK to pursue a subject on posted property, unless you have obtained permission from the owner/authority, and never is it OK to pursue a bird to distress.
If the image can't be made outside of posted property-be it private, state, or federal-then the image should not be attempted.
I strongly endorse reporting any witnessed event, including license plate/photos to the proper authority.
Although I speak for myself, I know with absolute certainty there are many, many photographers who are outraged by this behavior. It gives us all a very bad image and I, as you, would like to see it stopped
Sent from my iPhone
> On Nov 9, 2015, at 09:25, alison wagner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thank you, Maeve!
> I hope a certain individual I met during the Snowy Owl irruption reads what you wrote as well as my response here! I met this person at the Goose Viewing area in early 2014, the SNOW was not present at that moment on its expected perch. I was giving directions to some folks where I'd just seen two owls on Slang/West Road, and this person took off...
> I went back to Slang/West Road, and found this person in the field, clearly getting too close to the owl. The owl kept flying off. When he returned from the field, I mentioned to him that chasing birds can add stress, etc, he adamantly said he wasn't chasing, just wanted to get a little closer for a good picture. We both responded with, "It's obvious you got too close because the bird flew off." He never did get the ultimate photo he desired.
> A while later, I stopped to admire another Snowy on Slang Road. This same person joined us. At one point, he showed me a dead mouse he had stashed in his pocket. He asked me, "Should I?" My response was, "I WOULDN'T!"
> I remember his licence plate and will be on the look out!
> Let's respect birds, no matter how we chose to be "close" to them!
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jeanne Wisner" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: "Vermont Birds" <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, November 9, 2015 8:59:07 AM
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] trespassers at Dead Creek
> Thanks, Maeve. It needs to be said often!
>> On Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 8:31 AM, Maeve Kim <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Good morning, fellow bird lovers - I led a field trip to Addison Saturday,
>> and everyone was disturbed to see two photographers way out in the field in
>> back of the barn at the end of Gage Road. I bellowed at them that they were
>> in a restricted area and they had to get out NOW - and, amazingly, they
>> did. (In retrospect, that was pretty funny given that I have no actual
>> authority. I think it was the outraged teacher voice.) Their “reasoning”
>> was this: There’s a No Trespassing sign on the southwest corner of the
>> barn, and another on the first power pole heading down the driveway, about
>> 10 yards away. However, there’s no sign between those two signs - which
>> was “a clear indication” that that space was a “pathway” allowing people to
>> get closer to the Snow Geese.
>> When I pointed out the several newer signs making it clear that No
>> Trespassing includes photographers and birders, one of the men got whiny:
>> “Geez. I don’t see why you have to get angry with us!”
>> It was hours later before I wondered if we should have photographed the
>> men in the field and then getting into their car, with the license plate
>> evident. So this morning I called Fish and Wildlife. The answer: YES! We
>> people who care about birds should get photos and plate numbers, if we can
>> do it without feeling that we’re endangering ourselves in any way. Fax or
>> e-mail the photos to Fish and Wildlife as soon as possible. In Addison, we
>> can also phone 388-4875. There’s not always someone there but there’s
>> usually someone close by.
>> With a possible Snow Owl irruption again this winter, it’s guaranteed that
>> there will be unscrupulous and unethical behavior on the part of some
>> photographers eager for the Perfect Pic. The Fish and Wildlife woman said
>> that last year, there were people who literally chased individual owls,
>> making them fly again and again. There were also people who got pet store
>> mice and let them loose so they could get good pictures - ignoring the fact
>> that pet store mice have a lot of antibiotics that might not be good for
>> wild birds. If we birders unite to discourage the unethical few, and if it
>> becomes known that some paid fines, it might help.
>> Thanks for reading my rant!
>> Maeve Kim, Jericho Center