This Is For The Birds

This Is For The Birds

Sunday, January 31, 2016

U.S. Court Upholds Airports’ Right to Kill Birds

U.S. Court Upholds Airports’ Right to Kill Birds

U.S. Court Upholds Airports’ Right to Legally Kill Snowy Owls and Other Birds
by Xander Zellner
January 29, 2016

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey now has the legal right to kill almost any bird on its property—as long as they declare it an emergency.


The only birds that are exempt are Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, and other endangered or threatened species.

So does this mean Snowy Owls and other favorite species have to learn to steer clear of these properties? Maybe not. Susan Elbin, director of conservation and science at New York City Audubon, says that despite the court's ruling, she's confident the Port Authority will try to avoid killing birds. "I know for a fact that they'll only use lethal control as a last resort. They spend days and days meeting about this subject and catching these birds," she says. In fact, the Port Authority often consults with NYC Audubon about methods for handling wildlife. "It’s unfortunate when wildlife and humans come into this conflict situation where they’re trying to share space—and that’s often what happens with airports—but I know that the Port Authority is doing their best to trap and relocate them."

I hope Susan’s confidence doesn’t become compromised. Airplane safety should be the paramount concern, but we all know it’s cheaper and easier to shoot birds than to pay for what it takes to capture and relocate them.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Northern Hawk Owl Killed to Stop People from Coming to Take Pictures of It

After Attracting Birders, Rare Hawk Owl Killed Near Okanogan
by Rich Landers
January 16, 2016

Other birders who had brought the bird to his attention had mentioned to him that the property owner did not want anyone taking photos of anything on his property.


The Schrevens were among the steady stream of birders that visited the area. They saw the bird alive about 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 9. A Man came out of a home along the road and appeared to be writing down their license number as they drove away, Sandy Schreven said.


A blue pickup was in the road as they drove past and the man appeared to be writing down their license plate number, she said.

While they were having lunch by the river a half mile away, Herman Schreven said he heard a gunshot, but he didn’t think much of it.

When the couple returned to the site about 2 p.m., they found the bird hanging dead from a tree,
by Becca Cudmore
January 22, 2016

But as the visitors gathered throughout the week—some even checking in from Oregon—a nearby resident grew increasingly annoyed, telling them that scopes and binoculars were “okay,” but that they couldn't take photos of his property. On January 9, birders noticed that the neighbor had posted a sign: “No photos allowed.” Later that day, the owl was photographed hanging dead by one foot from a tree branch. Presumably, it had been shot. The case is currently under investigation by the Colville Native American Tribe, which owns the land.

The answer to the question, “are birders to blame? is no, birders are not to blame. The person who killed the owl is to blame.

The birders were not on the person’s property, it’s probably been too cool and cloudy for naked sun bathing or skinny dipping; so was the perpetrator already some kind of a pervert with some disgusting secret to hide, was this person one of America’s most wanted, did the perpetrator not want others to see an ugly spouse, was it a fear of losing land, was it resentment and hatred for a certain race of people? I’d really like to know.

Notwithstanding, personal moral values forbid me from stating how I really, really feel about the person who did this:

Photo by Christy Nielsen