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Owls

Ethics while observing or photographing nature

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Evening folks…last night’s post was about of the natural history of the Snowy Owl and why they are here south of their natural range. Tonight’s post is more about respecting nature while we observe or photograph them. Last night Tereasa Messer and Jose Matthews both brought up excellent points on my FB page.

These Snowy owls have traveled many miles in search of food, they are hungry and exhausted. Unlike most owls native New England that hunt mostly at night, Snowy Owls actively hunt during the day. So getting too close these owls can disrupt their concentration on that mouse they have in their sight or flushing them to get a flight shot can cause them to expel energy they don’t have. This can cause undo stress on these birds. Two Snowy Owls have been found dead in New England already, one in Maine and the other here in Massachusetts.

Having said this, this applies to all critters.  Let me say that I have made some less than ideal decisions and have been overly aggressive at times to get the ‘capture’. I learned early on that being aggressive, does not allow one get a capture of a critter in a relaxed state or showing some neat behavior that you see in many of my photos posted day after day here on my FB page.

We are NEVER going to be able to observe/photograph any critter without a minimal amount of disturbance, most folks just get too excited and make bad decisions. It’s all about education and this has been part of my ‘Mission Statement’ 
http://massapoag.org/about/index.html from the start.

Here is a photo of a relaxed owl. If this owls wasn't relaxed it would not be preening. One has to know how to read their subject and this comes from experience. I can tell you this from experience, if the owl starts bobbing it's head you are too close and stressing the bird! If a critter is making eye contact with us, I really don't think this is an issue. As sometime they are just as curious about us as we are about them…Happy

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