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Re: "birdwatchers are the worst"

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  • Chuck & Lillian
    Tamas, I have experienced looking around thru binos and coming upon a bird watching me and which then immediately flies off. It s primarily with raptors such
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 16, 2004
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      Tamas,
      I have experienced looking around thru binos and coming upon a bird watching me and which then immediately flies off. It's primarily with raptors such as Cooper's or Sharp-shinned Hawk. I think they don't like being looked at, but I don't think they're going off to die in privacy of an apoplectic fit. Just moving elsewhere, often not very far. Crows, jays and Mockingbirds seem to welcome the challenge, and sometimes stare right back, looking far more intimidating than I ever will. Smaller passerines - in my recollection - mostly can't care less about me as long as I don't make any sudden moves towards them. But in any group of otherwise similar organisms, including and especially people, some are always more jumpy than others.
      So, generally speaking, the comment was mostly inaccurate and probably intended to irritate birders or at least poke them with a gentle, joshing finger in the ribs, ho ho ho, and also to amuse and misinform the mostly ignorant wider public.
      Chuck Almdale
      Santa Monica, CA
      misclists@...
      *************************
      At 12:59 PM 11/16/2004 -0600, Thomas Miko wrote:
      > Well, at least that's what today's Los Angeles Times informed me of on page F3 of the outdoors section, at the end of an article about how Palm Springs area governmental agencies seek to reduce the number of hikers on trails during Bighorn Sheeps' breeding season. The last sentence of the article explained how "tiny little wrens" are terrified by binocular lenses that they think are the eyes of a monstrously oversized predator, so we birders are scaring the pants off of those poor little birdies.
      >Discuss.

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    • Nathaniel Wander
      People who live in optical housings shouldn t throw stones. While the binoculars = big eyes explanation may be a lot of hooey, we all know that just turning
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 16, 2004
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        People who live in optical housings shouldn't throw stones.

        While the "binoculars = big eyes" explanation may be a lot of hooey, we all
        know that just turning towards a bird, let alone looking at it intensely
        can disturb it. Of course, it all depends on the species, habitat, season,
        bird's activity at the time, etc., etc., etc.

        And while we are hardly "the worst," its flat out dishonest to pretend that
        our "hunting" and "staring" has no impact on birds at all, let alone that,
        it might not seriously compromise an already overstressed creature. Like
        when some poor off-course vagrant is "pounded" by every chaser in a
        thousand-mile radius.

        While most birders I know seem to be trying to behave as decently as
        possible, neither is any of us necessarily more immune to the close-minded
        selfishness some attribute to dog owners. Remember the eye-motes and
        eye-beams.

        Nathaniel Wander
        San Francisco
      • Douglas Shaw
        ... From: Nathaniel Wander To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:36 PM Subject: [CALBIRDS] RE: birdwatchers are the worst Hi,
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 16, 2004
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Nathaniel Wander
          To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:36 PM
          Subject: [CALBIRDS] RE: "birdwatchers are the worst"

          Hi,

          Please see ittalized comments below.


          People who live in optical housings shouldn't throw stones.

          While the "binoculars = big eyes" explanation may be a lot of hooey, we all
          know that just turning towards a bird, let alone looking at it intensely
          can disturb it. Of course, it all depends on the species, habitat, season,
          bird's activity at the time, etc., etc., etc.
          Researchers use binoculars, scopes, band birds, and invade their nests. All of these activities benefit the birds in the long run.


          And while we are hardly "the worst," its flat out dishonest to pretend that
          our "hunting" and "staring" has no impact on birds at all, let alone that,
          it might not seriously compromise an already overstressed creature. Like
          when some poor off-course vagrant is "pounded" by every chaser in a
          thousand-mile radius.

          I hope most birders are aware of birding ethics. Unforunately there have been major exceptions that is another topic.

          While most birders I know seem to be trying to behave as decently as
          possible, neither is any of us necessarily more immune to the close-minded
          selfishness some attribute to dog owners. Remember the eye-motes and
          eye-beams.

          How about the dog owners in San Francisco that encourage their dogs to run in the marsh lands at Crissy Field ? Correct me if I have the location wrong. I read several posts in recent years about those dog owners in SF.

          Doug Shaw
          Santa Rosa, CA




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        • Steve Sosensky
          Okay, CalBirders, Before this becomes a flame war, I m closing the thread. The effects of birding and birders on birds is not strictly a California issue, and
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 16, 2004
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            Okay, CalBirders,

            Before this becomes a flame war, I'm closing the thread. The effects of
            birding and birders on birds is not strictly a California issue, and is
            more suited to BirdChat if that list will tolerate it. For those of you who
            feel strongly on this issue, I suggest writing to the LA Times Outdoors
            section <mailto:outdoors@...> and Tracy Albrecht's supervisors.

            At 01:17 PM 2004-11-16 -0800, Douglas Shaw wrote:


            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Nathaniel Wander
            > To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:36 PM
            > Subject: [CALBIRDS] RE: "birdwatchers are the worst"
            >
            > Hi,
            >
            > Please see ittalized comments below.
            >
            >
            >

            Good birding,
            Steve Sosensky
            Toluca Lake, CA 34.15645 N, 118.36715 W
            <mailto:steve@...> for general use
            <mailto:mobile@...> for rare birds and emergencies only
            Co-listowner, Calbirds http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Calbirds

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          • MiriamEagl@aol.com
            Hi, all! In a message dated 11/16/2004 11:58:45 AM Pacific Standard Time, kgarrett@nhm.org writes: Second, I am not aware of any behavioral studies that
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 17, 2004
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              Hi, all!

              In a message dated 11/16/2004 11:58:45 AM Pacific Standard Time,
              kgarrett@... writes:

              Second, I am not aware of any behavioral studies that support the absurd
              suggestion that birders terrify wrens (etc.) by looking at them through
              binoculars. Sometimes we birders are tempted to believe that binoculars
              scare birds because birds sometimes fly off as soon as we get them in
              our bins.


              Maybe this has been addressed already, but a guide on a tour to Venezuela
              (who was using a Questar) says that sometimes the sun will reflect in the lens
              and flash in such a way that it startles the bird, so I wouldn't be surprised
              if that's what happens a lot (but I wouldn't think that qualifies as "scaring
              the pants" off the birds).

              Mary Beth Stowe
              San Diego, CA
              MiriamEagl@...
              _www.miriameaglemon.com_ (http://www.miriameaglemon.com)




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            • Steve Sosensky
              Calbirders, This thread is still closed. Anyone posting to it will be set to moderated status. It is always best to read a thread through before responding to
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 17, 2004
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                Calbirders,

                This thread is still closed. Anyone posting to it will be set to moderated
                status. It is always best to read a thread through before responding to it.
                This eliminates the potential for increased duplication of responses, or as
                in this case, posting to a closed thread.

                At 10:11 am 2004-11-17 -0500, miriameagl@... wrote:
                maybe this has been addressed already,



                Good birding,
                Steve Sosensky
                Toluca Lake, CA 34.15645 N, 118.36715 W
                <mailto:steve@...> for general use
                <mailto:mobile@...> for rare birds and emergencies only
                co-listowner, calbirds http://groups.yahoo.com/group/calbirds

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