Please read this

December 29, 2014  •  2 Comments

I have photographed wildlife on Long Island for a long time, I would like to give you a suggestion about approaching and posting locations of wildlife and how it impacts the wildlife especially the Snowy owl population we get here on Long Island every winter. I have had in the past few weeks seen people attempt to approach and even throw things at the Snowy owls to get them to fly. These owls fly from the Arctic Tundra every winter some can fly thousands of miles, by the time they get here there body weight is very low, every time someone spooks an owl and it fly’s away it has to burn calories, calories that it still has not gained from the flight here. The more people post the locations of them as innocent as it is, the more people will show up. It only takes a few people who ignore common sense to ruin it for everyone. I can give you the rules I follow and it has always worked for me. I always approach the wildlife slowly and in increments, an few feet at a time, the best time to move forward is when the owl turns its head away from you, take a step or two slowly. Sometimes it takes me an hour to get within 80 feet, but with Raptors they will spend hours sitting idly. If the owl flushing I will only approach it once more, if it flushes again I leave, I don’t want to stress it out. It may leave the area if it sees a lot of stress and will relocate to and quieter area (which may be miles away). Although the Snowy Owl is not considered a critically endangered animal there population is not very large, what controls the population is the Lemmings population that they feed on in the Arctic Tundra. When they have a mild winter in the arctic the Lemming population explodes and there is more food for the hatchling to survive. So please consider this when you post photos of wildlife, how will this affect the wildlife if when in a normal day the wildlife will encounter a few dozen people, but when it is posted in many forums and web sites it will now encounter hundreds, how will this impact the animal? I thank you for reading this and I hope this will help. 


Comments

Joe(non-registered)
Great comments. Only hope the people that should be reading it - do.

Fantastic pictures.
Pamela Bracken Morrison(non-registered)
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. As an avid hiker (with camera always in tow) it is quite a magical feeling when you come upon an owl, a hawk, red-tail, juvenile bald eagle in it's environment. I try to be always be at heightened awareness and remember to tread lightly and softly. Long Island has so much to offer and it is the greatest pleasure to share with others those magical finds taken from those hikes, many times things seen were never expected!
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