Before I report on today’s walk at Col. Sam Smith Park, I saw some disturbing news at blogto.co. Here are excerpts:
Various owls have been spotted at a park in Toronto this winter, with numerous photographers flocking to the park to try and get shots of the owls.
There have been sightings of long-eared owls, short-eared owls, saw-whet owls, and the snowy owl all roosting.
With the news of this sighting, many eager wildlife photographers have been trying to get a photo of the birds, with some even trampling on ecologically sensitive areas just to get a closer look.
There have even been reports of people poorly treating the birds, including throwing things at the owls and even shaking their trees, creating great stress on them.
Not only are photographers not keeping a respectful distance from the birds, but park visitors have also been seen trying to get closer to the birds, all while scaring them.
“While the majority of park visitors are respectful, some are unaware that their activities may be putting the wildlife in distress, or are more focused on getting their perfect Instagram picture,” says a spokesperson.
In order to protect the birds and wildlife, the park has put up temporary fences and signs in the area to keep visitors on the trail, in addition to the extra security.
The park asks visitors to respect and not disturb all the wildlife at the park.
We had many birds on today’s walk on very icy trails:
ONLY IN IRELAND, YOU SAY…
The holly bush, a sober lump of green,
Shines through the leafless shrubs all brown and grey,
And smiles at winter be it eer so keen
With all the leafy luxury of May. – John Clare (1793-1864)
I agree with you Miles. We have gone to Downsview several times to see the owls. On our first trip there were 12 photographers with monstrous lenses ringing a tree with a young Saw-Whet in it. The poor thing looked dazed by the clamour. On following trips we spoke to some “regulars” at the park who said the Saw-whet was taken to Wildlife Rehab because it had gotten sick from the stress. I think many of the photographers care little about the wildlife, only about photo. Of course if they mistreat the wildlife they will have no photo ops. When I read the Blog T.O. Article I was sickened that now this article was going to encourage more hotdog photographers to go for the chase. Too bad.
Thanks Miles for all the educating you do. I look forward to your posts every day.