Snowy Owl and Photographers

2020 was the year of the owl for me. Started off spring through summer following a barred owl family, then in early December watching short-eared owls, and before the end of December catching a snowy owl. These are night photos from my first trip to see the snowy. I hope for another trip soon. All of these on this post were taken around sunset or shortly after from a distance. I have a zoom, but its largest aperture opening is 6.5 so I cannot do what the big boys and girls do with the camera. These photos are heavily cropped as well.

After sunset the owl flew down off the dune to the beach. She played with a branch for a little while, then at blue hour flew to a sign where the beach meets the path back to the parking lot.

Teasing the photographers by acting like it would fly before sundown.
A lot of people , but I only saw early on one who was low crawling up the dune the snowy owl was on. The rest of the time people seemed to keep to a respectful distance.
Late afternoon sun.
The photographers are actually a respectful distance. They are on another dune. more than 100 feet away. Snowy owl paparazzi.
Walking around on the beach after a short flight.
I missed it flying. I was climbing down from another sand dune where I was about to give up and start the long trek to my car. Sure enough on the trip down she started to fly.
She landed on the beach.
She spent a lot of time playing with this stick on the beach.
As all the photographers started to leave, she flew to the sign by the path from the beach to the parking lot. Either she was saying good-bye or was seeing us out so she could hunt without an audience.
Yes! Now I have the beach to myself!

Follow the rules when it comes to snowy owls. I believe the sign at the beach that said you can not come within 100 feet or it is a 250 dollar fine. I understand some pros try to flush them out to get them in flight. Do not do that. These birds are dwindling and we need to protect them.

19 thoughts on “Snowy Owl and Photographers”

    1. Thanks! Someone commenting on my last post about the snowy said that they had went down to the same beach to watch but people got too close and it flew away. Some pros are unethical. They purposely go too close and purposefully try to get them to fly to get the photos they want. They are protected status and many respect that. Unfortunately some do not.

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    1. I had a bad experience with some some described Audoban people today. I will make a post so others are informed and don’t listen to them. Total Karen’s from the other extreme. The park has signs saying stay back 100 feet or more. They claimed the rule was 500 feet. One of them with their yelling made the owl fly. All the while they took pictures of it in flight.

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      1. I belong to NYC Audubon and the Linnaean Society of NY of which I am a council member. They have rules posted online about owls. No one on our field trips has ever behaved like that and shouted near a bird. Before a trip starts leaders inform us about the rules and trip. What local branch of Audubon were they from? All the field trips out of NYC that I have been on, which is hundreds, have been respectfully and ethically run. I know all the leaders. You should contact the local chapter about this.

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      2. I did not ask who they belonged to. I was shocked by their behavior. I warned everyone who came in later. All said they knew the rule was 100 feet. The man himself was there 2 weeks prior taking photos and was not 500 feet away. He was closer to 100. Others say he is there all the time. Both times I heard him yelling near the bird. If he cared so much he would not do that. One possibility is they are territorial and decided to harass someone newer to visiting the park. The lady I saw later sitting about 100 feet away from the owl in the dunes. She had said we are not supposed to walk in the dunes yet there she was. No signs about not walking in the dunes. I see people do that all the time. Including the two harassers.

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      3. I could not see one there. Many of the regular photographers there don’t follow that even the two who said you could not. I caught them later inside the dunes. The place has certain areas fenced off as no walking zones with signs. The dunes near the beach are not included in those fenced off areas.

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