Can Birding Go Too Far?

(c) DennisJacobsen

Have you ever wanted to, had to, see that one bird?   From what I gather, many birders are that way.

This morning, while enjoying coffee, Selena shared an internet article, by Audubon, on a rare Northern Hawk Owl that had been spotted, early January 2016, in rural Washington.  According to the article, Northern Hawk Owls normally live in boreal forests of Alaska and Canada, rarely coming into the lower 48 states.  It was reported that only two birds had been spotted in the lower 48 this winter.

As news of the rare bird spread,  the number of birders, scopes, cameras, and a nearby resident’s agitation grew.  The resident told birders that scopes and binoculars were okay, but he didn’t want photos taken of his property.  Per the article, the resident put up a “No Photos Allowed” sign.  The article also indicated that the owl was photographed, later on the 9th, hanging in the tree, presumably shot.  The case is currently under investigation.

The answer may never be known, but one might surmise that the number of birders led to an individual’s anger growing to the point of retribution towards an innocent animal.   Selena and I enjoy birding, but not to the level of some birders.  It’s great to have a passion, but when that passion might possibly have lead to the injury of the very focus of the passion, then one needs to do some soul searching.

Is seeing that “One” bird really worth it?  Maybe

Can Birding go too far?    In this situation, I think so.


Keith, the K in the SnK






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