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Hello, All. This may run longer than I planned.

How timely. I had been thinking about the first email
in this thread focusing on Jetty Park and wrote part
of that off as "kids will be kids" being that it is a
public park. I realize there are other places birds
congregate or nest that are a different matter.

Personally, I don't freak out if I see a child run
toward a flock of birds on the beach. IF that beach is
public and the birds would have seen people before
landing anyway. Maybe just some weird logic in my
brain. If it were a secluded place I would have a
different opinion.

But the main point is: a majority of the public
doesn't know how to act around wildlife. Why? They
weren't told or ignored the messages on purpose. We
aren't given a code of ethics when we start out. That
is taught or learned. Information and getting that
information out is the key.

I wish I could think of a way to make sure EVERYONE
could learn about respecting wildlife in school as a
requirement.

When I can, I take my boys birding with me and they
are getting an understanding real early. They know
that when Daddy stops and gets real quiet, they do the
same and even at 3 and 7 are able to name many birds
and enjoy watching them.

Now, to the cruel. Yesterday was my one vacation day
in a while. I went the Viera Wetlands and to Black
Point. Different letters on those later.

When heading toward Black Point I noticed that a large
flock of birds had gathered in the parking lot near
the boat ramp on the causeway. No other cars. I pulled
in to take a look and hoped for a photo op.

Turns out it was about 100 Black Skimmers! Beautiful.
I stayed on the outer edge of the lot and got in front
of the flock and took some shots, camera hanging out
of the car window. As more birds arrived, they joined
the flock closer and closer to my parked car. Nice.

Suddenly, they loudly took wing and a van filled with
laughing yokels drove through the flock and past me.
They KNEW I was taking pictures, thus the laughs.
This happens frequently on this stretch. Local tough
boys think it is quite fun to plow through flocks of
birds or otherwise disrupt the peace and quite.
Especially if there is a chance to make another human
upset.

We won't ever get rid of these idiots. Wonderful
world. This is one of the main reason I try to hang
out with wildlife more than humans. Wildlife often
seem more civilized.

Andrew Boyle
Orlando, FL


--- Patrick Leary <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I believe the conventional
> wisdom is that: "one must first know something
> before appreciating it".
> Thanks for your early holiday gift - I commend your
> efforts!   Patrick Leary

--- Robert Lengacher <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I share this story because I think it
> directly relates to the discussion about the
behavior of certain people who seem to disregard or
> even harass birds.  I believe the best way to reduce
> that type of behavior is to increase people's
awareness of birds.

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