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Old 03-04-2013, 09:51 AM
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Default Great Grey Owl, Mauston WI 3/3/13

This owl has created quite the stir in the birding community. This past week a photographer was out there taunting the bird with a mouse. There a video and description of it here. This behavior is obviously wrong and should never happened. There was another guy throwing mice to this bird on Sunday, but not taunting it. It has stirred up the debate of feeding wildlife for the sake of a good shot. Personally I see this as no different than throwing fish in the water to bait eagles. As long as the bird is fed out in the field (not a road) and certainly not taunted, I think its ok.

Anyway, this bird was just awesome. He was in no way afraid of humans and would fly within 5 feet of people and just pose for everyone. A guy told me this is a juvenile that is well out of his range and is his first winter. By late Sunday there was no less than 50 people out there shooting it. I hope I did this beautiful bird some justice.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:59 AM
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a little lens envy. Funny thing is, most of these were worthless because the bird came so close to people. When he came close, these guys just had to sit and watch. Nobody seemed to mind, thats for sure.

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:15 AM
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Where did you find out about this Jason? A former HS teacher of mine and his wife were there yesterday as well.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:20 AM
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Where did you find out about this Jason? A former HS teacher of mine and his wife were there yesterday as well.
I was very lucky, my fiance's uncle lives about 2 blocks from here. He told us about it so we went for a visit. Its about 3 hours north of Chicago, 20 miles north of the Wisconsin Dells.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:44 AM
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My uncle used to own property outside Mauston. Have been there several times. I just wondered if was on a birding site or something like that. Great photos by the way!!!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:07 AM
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Great shots Jason, I'd say you did this bird some justice with these shots! What lens were you using?
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:09 AM
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Awesome shots, Jason. Very nicely captured.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:48 AM
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Thanks guys. All were captured with 70-200 with a x2
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:49 AM
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God I wanna post so badly, but the smarter part of me says to just be quiet and walk away.



Nice shots, glad you could enjoy the opportunity.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:00 PM
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God I wanna post so badly, but the smarter part of me says to just be quiet and walk away.
post where, on IL birders forum about the feeding?
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:30 PM
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Anywhere that some bleeding-heart, uneducated, uninformed, just plain stupid, person talks about how "wrong" it is...please, get off my planet, I want my happy back...


No offense Jason, I'm just absolutely worn to the nub about this issue. The one thread on POTN and all the retarded comments makes me want to stab someone in the balls with a fork. I haven't been on IL Birders since seeing the news about the owl, I can't imagine what kind of stupidity is going on over there. Once I read through the thread on POTN it put me to the point where any story I see now I want to scream, and it sucks for whoever tells the story. You happen to be that guy this morning, not your fault, not my fault, just sick of it already. And the way they treated my friend Andrew about it, makes me want to kill people.


Fantastic shots, wish I could have been there, and really, point blank, it's not wrong. Actually teasing it, like dangling food then pulling it away, that's bullshit, whether right or wrong, and the guy is a dick for doing it. But, feeding/baiting, nothing wrong with it. I have the joy of factual knowledge about issues like this, so it burns my ass that the majority of the people commenting are idiots who don't have a clue.

I could spew so much logic about the situation that it sickens me, I want the whole story to just go away. You think this is bad, you should hear me when someone mentions the name Peterson...I'm so sick of hearing about that guy that I just want to go execute the fucker myself so people will shut the hell up and stop making him into a frickin star.


But, I'm insane, badly, so that explains my opinions...
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:37 PM
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the only thing I heard on the "wrong" side of the argument, that barely holds water, is if the bird/owl becomes dependent on being fed and somehow forgets to hunt on its own. but I dont see how thats likely.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by katodog View Post
Fantastic shots, wish I could have been there, and really, point blank, it's not wrong. Actually teasing it, like dangling food then pulling it away, that's bullshit, whether right or wrong, and the guy is a dick for doing it. But, feeding/baiting, nothing wrong with it. I have the joy of factual knowledge about issues like this, so it burns my ass that the majority of the people commenting are idiots who don't have a clue.
From what I've read, everyone is just pissed about the taunting, not really the feeding. But I think now, they are being blended together, meaning if you feed the owl, you are taunting it, which obviously I don't agree with.

The behavior of this owl was strange though. He would fly right up to the side of the road as if to say, "I'm here, feed me". I just hope he doesn't become reliant on it and/or think the road is a safe place to hang out and expect food.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:14 PM
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Animals and birds have it built-in long before they're even born how to survive. Look at domestic cats, they "hunt", when they play it's not play, it's practice for hunting. Nobody is going to say stop feeding your cat. It's the same for any other animals or bird. Sure you can "disturb" the natural order of things, but animal and bird behavior will return to what's natural once the human interaction is gone.


The problem is not the feeding/baiting/taunting, the problem is that 90% of the people commenting on it have no clue, no facts, no intelligence, on the true nature of the issue. It was said that long before that guy "taunted" the owl, there were people feeding mice to it weeks, maybe even months, before. I have no room for stupidity and no room for people who talk out of their ass. And to berate and chastise someone when you have no idea of what's going on, it's ridiculous, and I really have no room for that. Everyone is jumping on this frickin "it's wrong" bandwagon and they don't have a clue.


Let's look at it from a logical standpoint, and think about just one aspect of the issue:

Places like Willowbrook Wildlife Center rehabilitate animals and birds, and in the course of doing so keep them for a long time, months. When they do releases, the birds don't come back, in fact, chances are you'll never see them in the area again. The animals don't come back, you'll probably never see them again either. Did human intervention destroy their ability to live in the wild?? Nope.


Same thing with the owl. Well, let's look at it again from a logical standpoint, and think about it:

Let's say I go out and feed a wild owl, three times a day, for a week. It knows I'm gonna be there so it hangs out there waiting for me. All of a sudden I drop dead, and the owl spends a day or two waiting for me. Actually, the owl could spend more or less time, it would depend on what it did once it got hungry. Natural genetic built-in intelligence tells the owl "Hey dumb-shit, he ain't comin' back, you better go find something to eat"...in which case it goes back to another location where it knew it would find food. Did I change the natural habits of the owl?? Yup, for one week, then it went back to doing what wild animals do, live in the wild. Just like you wouldn't be stupid enough to not go to the store when your fridge was empty, animals and birds won't be stupid enough to stand there like an idiot starving, they'd go find food.


Okay, now let's take a look at a particular aspect of this issue...the "taunting"...and again, let's use some logic:

I go hang out by the owl, the same owl that everyone else is hanging out by. I take a mouse and tie it to a fishing pole, then cast the mouse out next to the owl. When the owl goes to grab it, I reel in the mouse. I do this a hundred times. Every time I do it, from the first time to the hundredth time, I'm a dick, and that's the bottom line. However, when you call me a dick, don't magically blend the aspects of teasing with the aspects of feeding, don't put it all in the same category. If I went out and tossed a mouse to the owl and the owl ate it, cool, but that doesn't make me a dick. If it did then you'd have to stop feeding your cat, you'd have to take your bird feeders down, etc..



Logic folks, let's use some. I really don't want to get into it, my knowledge and experience in wildlife and birding makes me a powerful debater on the subject. But, I prefer to just steer clear of it, because most of the people who I've seen comment on the issue are just plain wrong, and others are not only wrong, but they're only commenting to ump on the bandwagon.

Like I said, I'm at that point now, anybody who says anything about it is gonna light a flame under my ass, which is why I prefer to keep quiet. It's not my fault, it's not your fault, it's just the way it it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:15 PM
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Oh, I think I forgot to say...the reason why the owl is flying onto the street is because people were feeding it long before the teasing dude came along, so it was already used to people and used to being fed.
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