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Opinion on too many photographers


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#1 lorelielee

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:48 PM

So at my local park there are a family of Great Horned Owls Beautiful birds. I am guilt of what I am now asking but would like everyone,s opinion,  Is it intrusive on the birds for 10 or 15 photographers to be taking pictures all day long? Ever time my husband and I take our walks there are at least that many people taking pictures. They don't just take one or two and move on they are there well over an hour, Now that the baby's are bigger it worry's me. What do you guys think should we as birds be more careful and courteous to our feathered friends....

 

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#2 horseface

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:09 PM

That weirdo behind the owl definitely needs to leave the poor creature alone.

 

But in all seriousness I kind of agree. I feel bad for animals sometimes seeing that. I remember I was in Yosemite once and a bear came out and all the cars and such were backed up for god knows how long and everyone is out trying to get close to the poor creature. I mean I'm a hypocrite myself as even just someone who seeks to look at birds, but it just gets ridiculous. I realize people have their hobbies and I like that so many are interested in the birds.

 I guess it makes me feel a little better about not always going out and searching for every single bird to see.  



#3 lorelielee

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

thanks Horseface....

 



#4 creeker

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:11 PM

Actually, the large number of human visitors may be benefitting these owls. Predators are kept at bay during the times that people are there. From my experience, Great-horned Owls seem to be at ease nesting near human activity. As long as the adults are still near the nest, and not being scared away, I think all is ok.

That being said, I was hiking a trail in the Anza Borrego Desert with my wife. I found a Costa's Hummingbird nest at waist height in a small bush. I told my wife to go ahead and take some real quick pics, which she did. But someone else saw what we did, then moved in and stayed and kept taking more and more pics. The sun was starting to go down and I know the mother was being kept from the nest. I wanted to tell the guy to leave it alone, but I was guilty of the same thing (maybe in a lesser degree) and would have been a hypocrite.



#5 lorelielee

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:37 AM

I am ok with a quick shot and move on but with the Owls there are at least 10 people there at anyone time and the just stay there...I don't get that. Take a picture and move on you. You dont need 100 of the same bird...

#6 cabirds

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

Actually - you do.  Well, not if you're a snapshot-shooter.  A photographer does.

It's called "Working your subject".  I've never even once in hundreds of thousands of photos, had the right camera angle, the right focal length, the best possible composition, the best possible saturation and light in a first shutter-fall.

Multiple days on the same subject isn't out of the question either.

That said - one does need to pay attention to how the subject is feeling and not overwork the subject.  But you're never going to get a great photograph if the subject is uncomfortable.  If it's being at all antsie, back off.  Or move to the side (birds tend to be very comfortable with things moving obliquely instead of in a line at them which looks like predator behavior.  Or sit down and give it some time to adjust.

But no - I'm afraid I disagree with the "you don't need 100 of the same bird..."

You might not, but that would make you a one-of-a-kind photographer.



#7 lorelielee

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:53 PM

Cabird, thanks for your opionion .  I just think there are too many and they, I do take lots of pictures. But to  me this is almost staking, I love birds and love photo's I get it, but not everyday all day .....that's what I see the same people everyday.  So just wanting opionion's. Thanks again....

#8 natureboy

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:25 PM

im not opposed to enriching your experience of a wildlife encounter by getting close to an animal and taking pictures.  as long as the owl is not constantly getting flushed off and is not afraid of bringing in food to the chicks its not a problem. 

 what better way of getting children or folks who are not wildlife enthusiasts into this sort of thing than getting them up close and personal to a GHO feeding their chicks?  its dollars from these folks that keep funding in the right place and drives conservation of natural areas.

 i would probably climb that tree and catch one of the chicks so i could take a picture of it perched on my arm..........just kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 



#9 lorelielee

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:24 PM

A fellow birder wrote this today on his site about this very subject I agree with him....

Birds need their "down" time and too much human pressure is not a good thing for already stressed adults and chicks, alike.  So, please, during this critical nesting season, be patient and give our nesting birds plenty of room.  Getting a nice photo is what most of us all want to do, but keep your distance and make the time spent at the scene minimal.  Species already nesting or that are setting up the home front include Great Blue Herons, night-herons, and our owls and other birds of prey.  Be smart and thoughtful is all we ask.   



#10 Doug Herr

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:24 PM

Personally, I'll avoid "shooting galleries" like the plague.  It's not the experience I want when photographing wildlife, it draws too much attention to the site, I don't have the opportunities to develop a personal relationship with the bird, and with other people around I can't work the light or backgrounds.  Except for a few cavity-nesting species in secluded locations I stay well away from nests.

#11 cabirds

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:01 AM

Now see, I agree with you completely Doug.  I can't feel comfortable and get in the right head-space in a "shooting gallery", as you so aptly describe it.  I'm also not a fan of "stay on the trails" for much the same reasons.

That all said, when I was at Colusa for the Falcated Duck, hundreds of people, the ducks and wild geese were practically nibbling  on our shoe-laces.  These weren't heavily habituated and fed waterfowl either.  Pretty soon I think they just figured out these idiots with their scopes and lenses weren't going to go charging into the water and eat them...

 



#12 birdbrain22

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:28 PM

I only wish the GHO would make a swipe at the Photographers... Maybe that would change some minds. Guess you can tell my view on it.

I know of a friend of a friend that was banding GHO chicks, years ago... and lets just say Mom and Dad were not happy. They attacked him and he actually lost an eye from it. GHO's are nothing to mess with.  



#13 zoutedrop

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:27 PM

Sad but inevitable.  There will be 10 billion of us by 2050.  A birder commented that his CBC was down this year because of development in the area. 

#14 cabirds

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

birdbrain22:

I only wish the GHO would make a swipe at the Photographers... Maybe that would change some minds. Guess you can tell my view on it.

I know of a friend of a friend that was banding GHO chicks, years ago... and lets just say Mom and Dad were not happy. They attacked him and he actually lost an eye from it. GHO's are nothing to mess with.  

That's an unfortunate attitude.  I hope you don't extend that out on the trail.  It might be easily misconstrued.



#15 lonestranger

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:24 PM

My view on this might differ from the majority here, and some may not be able relate to what I am trying to say in the manner I am trying to say it. This is just my opinion and admittedly a very philisophical one, but it's still just one opinion..

The owls in this case are mostly nocturnal hunters therefore the more energy they expend keeping their eye on photographers during the day, the less energy they'll have to hunt effectively at night. I have heard reports of owls that didn't seemed bothered by the presence of humans being found dead from malnutrition in the same location that crowds of photographers had been photographing them day after day. If an owl is focused on something other than it's young, it's mate, or it's prey, it's probably expending energy guarding against potential predators. What else do owls do?  Although photographers may not actually attack an active nest, the owls must see us as a constant threat and therefore they'd always be on guard when we're around. The threat of us photographers might not be enough to flush the owl from the nest, but my uneducated guess would be, the threat is still very real to the owl and they'd constantly be on the alert and using precious energy to guard against us potential threats, maybe not having enough energy left to defend against the real predators or hunt effeciently later.

Don't get me wrong, I have been guilty of mobbing wildlife myself and my girlfriend has the pic of me getting within 15-20 feet of a roadside Algonquin moose for a photo to prove it. I admit to being a hypocrite but in hindsite I know that I was invading the space of a wild animal and the closer and more frequently I get to ANY wild animal, the less wild it will eventually become. I can't be a part of the wildnerness that I enjoy without affecting that wilderness just with my presence. I'd like to think that there is no negative impact by my presence around the wildlife I enjoy so much, but the fact is, I can't think of any positive influence my presence could have in ANY truely wild setting. The list of possible negative impacts my presence could affect on wild space is endless though. I am a hypcrite though and I will still try to be at one with the wildlife around me. I will do everything in my power to make sure that I don't have a negative impact on the well being of the wild creatures around me, but I am also aware that the best of intentions can sometimes have negative consequences. One thing that I firmly believe is this, the less human exposure wildlife has, the best chance it has of surviving as wildlife.

Having said all that, I think I will start planning my springtime camping trips to all the bird migration hotspots so that I can join the masses of photographers looking for that once in a lifetime National Geographic shot. Tongue Tied



#16 birdbrain22

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:22 PM

cabirds:
birdbrain22:

I only wish the GHO would make a swipe at the Photographers... Maybe that would change some minds. Guess you can tell my view on it.

I know of a friend of a friend that was banding GHO chicks, years ago... and lets just say Mom and Dad were not happy. They attacked him and he actually lost an eye from it. GHO's are nothing to mess with.  

That's an unfortunate attitude.  I hope you don't extend that out on the trail.  It might be easily misconstrued.

Oh don't worry,  I am long past the days of worrying about my comments being misconstrued by others.

I am not against most photographers... just the ones that push the limits purposely to get THAT shot. I even know of some birders who push the limits and do some unethical things as well, and when they do, I like to call them on it, if I see it.






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