Hi all

I have often noted with interest how much effort is expended by birders 
heaping distaste on other birders. Maybe it's to be welcomed that this 
isn't an overtly selfish thing, as it would be if we said they shouldn't 
have flushed the Snowy Owl because it might reduce our chances of seeing 
it. But still, birding is a past-time shared by a very wide range of 
people who often don't have much else in common.  So I think a degree of 
tolerance is really important to us!

I also think we should get a little bit of perspective into this. In the 
big scheme of things, flushing a Snowy Owl is a very little crime 
against nature compared to driving across the state to see one! And I 
freely admit I would have done that if I'd had time. Right now in 
Australia, two very beautiful species of parrot are in dire danger of 
extinction. Rather than beating up on other birders, perhaps we should 
consider the possibility they might share our unhappiness with this 
situation, and stress things we may have in common, rather than things 
we might do differently.

So, I'd like to give those people the benefit of the doubt, and suggest 
their motivation may have been just as pure as ours - the desire to 
witness something of rare beauty! Having been fortunate enough to have 
seen a couple of Snowy Owls in flight, I wouldn't want to deprive anyone 
of that experience!

Cheers, Chris.

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: April 27, 2012 in Joplin, MO