Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ottawa’s Natural Environment

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How close is too close for wildlife watching?

Story by Katharine Fletcher; photo by Eric Fletcher

How close is too close for wildlife watching?

“Look at that bear! I’m going to get a great photo!” Off the photographer ran, straight for the animal.

Another Darwin-award moment…

Normally sensible people can be transformed into fools when nature’s serendipity presents a golden opportunity for a stellar photograph.

Although you’d think people would know better than to run towards a black bear, Homo sapiens frequently exhibits thoughtless behaviour towards wild animals instead of being sensible… and acting respectfully.

But what’s respectful?

Mud Lake Madness

Remember the commotion at Mud Lake – the popular wildlife watching spot at Ottawa’s Britannia Filtration Plant – during the last two winters? The Ottawa Field Naturalist Club’s Facebook page exploded with comments because some photographers had positioned tripods semi-permanently to shoot Great Gray and Snowy owls. Come spring, others similarly created a zoo-like atmosphere when Great Horned Owls were nesting.

Click to read entire summer issue. 
My column is on p. 33.
Some birders brought live mice purchased at a pet shop, and threw them to the birds of prey. The owls swooped down, wings beating the air and talons bared to grab the rodents, then transport and devour them aloft. The Great Horned adults fed some mice to their young.

So what?

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