Letters to the Editor

Guns to blame for owls’ plight?

A letter writer argues photographers don’t have to get too close to snowy owls to capture an image, and that duck hunters might be to blame for scaring the birds and stressing them out. - Leader file photo
A letter writer argues photographers don’t have to get too close to snowy owls to capture an image, and that duck hunters might be to blame for scaring the birds and stressing them out.
— image credit: Leader file photo

Re: “Snowy owls starving,” The Leader, Jan. 1.

While I support the good work of OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society), I feel laying the blame for the plight of the snowy owls at the feet of photographers is inaccurate and unfair.

While photography might be a billion-dollar industry, few people earn their living taking photos of snowy owls. Wildlife photographers are as concerned about the well-being of the snowy owls as OWL’s Ms. Bev Day.

A long lens means you don’t need to get close to the subject; in fact you cannot focus a long lens if you are too close – and that’s a good thing for the owls or any wildlife.

When I have been down at Boundary Bay photographing the snowy owls from the public foot path, what scared the owls and I away were the hunters with rifles on the foreshore shooting ducks over our heads. Perhaps the hunters firing guns are stressing the snowy owls?

 

Sheena Wilkie

Surrey

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