Results 1 to 27 of 27

Thread: Your Help Needed

  1. #1
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    26,907
    Threads
    1,246
    Thank You Posts

    Default Your Help Needed

    Attached Images Attached Images
     
    Roseate Spoonbill sky-pointing

    The Roseate Spoonbill image above was made at Sunken Island Cove, Alafia Banks, with the 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS1D Mark III camera body. This yielded an effective focal length of 1568mm (31.4X magnification). I would guess that James Shadle and I were about 100 feet from the birds. Audubon Florida is requesting “a 100-foot buffer zone, extended across the mouths of the Bird Island and Sunken Island Coves, to provide a safe and quiet area of no-entry, except by sanctuary staff conducting bird census, monitoring, or management activities.” (Please note my wry smile at the exceptions.) The extended across the mouths of the Bird Island and Sunken Island Coves would prevent photographers from approaching within about 300 feet of the sandbar at Sunken Island.

    Your Help is Needed

    In lieu of the information below–please be sure to read the whole thing–and then click here and sign the petition. Signing will take well less than a minute.

    Why should everyone sign it? There are lots of reasons:

    The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC), in conjunction with (and surely encouraged by) Audubon Florida, want to impose up to 300 feet boundaries around 20 existing Critical Wildlife Areas (CWA). The boundaries would negatively affect the quiet enjoyment of nature by licensed touring companies, photographers, birders, recreational kayakers, educators, and others interested in Florida wildlife.

    No one involved has provided any scientific data supporting the benefits of increased boundaries. In fact, the FWC/Audubon wildlife species survey shows an increase in wildlife population at numerous Critical Wildlife Areas.

    Below are some examples (based on estimates of the number of nesting pairs, by species, made by Florida Audubon via direct counts and flight-line surveys) at Alafia Banks, the area of my primary concern.

    White Ibis in 2004: 7,750. In 2014: 4,650. In 2015: 11,000.
    Roseate Spoonbill in 2011: 190 (a precipitous drop from the previous 7-year average of 322). In 2015: 190.
    Brown Pelican in 2004: 310. In 2014: 190. In 2015: 350.
    Tricolored Heron in 2008: 90. In 2015: 165.
    Total pairs in 2004: 9,724. Total pairs in 2014: 5,927. Total pairs in 2015: 12,440.

    Yet Ann Paul, Regional Coordinator of Audubon’s Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries, and Mark Rachal, Sanctuary Manager, write in part:

    For more than 75 years, Audubon wardens in Tampa Bay have been the keepers of these special places. At first, we protected them from the plume trade and harvest for food that almost drove these birds to extinction. But today, these nesting birds face a new and unexpected threat: catastrophic disturbance by nature photographers.And worse, a few unscrupulous tour leaders in Tampa Bay are giving nature photography a bad name, and threatening the future of our area’s vibrant waterbird colonies.

    You might think “how much damage can one photographer do?” The impacts are cumulative and substantial. Some nature photographers lead customers on photo “safaris,” including vulnerable nesting colonies among their destinations. With clients in tow, some paying $450 per day to be escorted to prime sites, these tour operators are becoming serial disturbers.

    How in the world any sane person could look at Audubon Florida’s own data and talk about catastrophic disturbance by nature photographers is far beyond me. And I would love to know what in the world the cost of a day on a pontoon boat has to do with anything. And I am curious as to the annual salary of Eric Draper, the Executive Director of Audubon Florida… See more on Mr. Draper below.

    Most telling are the recent increase in the number of nesting Brown Pelican pairs. The White Ibises and spoonbills nest deep in the mangroves where they can only be disturbed by the researchers on their banding and counting forays. The pelicans, however, nest on the periphery of the island where one might think that they would be subject to disturbance by photographers in the water. Yet there numbers have increased…

    Note also that most of the species in questions nest quite successfully in extremely close proximity to humans including dozens of nature photographers each day at Gatorland and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The stork have been doing great at both of these locations for many years and spoonbill numbers at St. Augustine have been increasing in recent years.

    Interestingly enough, Mark Rachal (via personal comment to James Shadle) has stated that he is comfortable with a 50 foot buffer for photographers. And now Audubon is asking for 100-300 foot buffers…

    James Shadle and Alafia Banks

    My good friend James Shadle, a co-founder of Bird Photographer’s.Net, has taken more folks to Alafia Banks to photograph the spoonbills than all other operators combined multiplied by ten. In an e-mail to Ann Paul on March 11, 2015, I wrote:

    I hope that you know down deep that both of us (James Shadle and I) are the good guys but I realize that I may very well be wrong. Speaking for myself, I know that I have followed the letter of the law for more than 30 years. I follow the rules, I don’t enter closed areas, I do my best to keep any disturbance that I might cause to an absolute minimum. If I see folks doing the wrong thing, I open my mouth and/or photograph them and their license plates (or their boats) and notify the authorities. I firmly believe that nature photographers who do the wrong thing should be cited and punished.

    I know that James feels pretty much the same way on all of the above. We both teach folks how to approach the birds unobtrusively. He has cautioned many trespassing fisherman and yes, even picnickers on the island over the years. In the past he has offered to remove both old tires and non-native vegetation during the off season. His generous offers of help were turned down. We both offered to accompany an Audubon crew onto the island (on a banding landing) during nesting season to photograph the chicks and the survey operation and to then donate the images to Audubon. That offer was also turned down. One might assume that the powers that be at Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuary Audubon did not want us to see what goes on. Our offer still stands. As you know, I donated images to the federal folks managing Egmont Key after you and (late husband) Rich kindly arranged for me to visit a few years back.

    I would be more than glad to donate images created at Alafia that would meet your needs. Let me know what they are and whether you need the images for web or for print and if the latter, what size. And I am positive that James would be glad to donate images that would help you get your message out. Similarly, I would be glad to publicize any important events for your group. My blog gets more than 3,000 visitors/day and enjoys about 15,500,000 page views annually.

    Ann never responded to my e-mail.

    If there are any factual errors above, I invite anyone from Florida Audubon to either leave a comment or to contact me via e-mail.

    From Rob Christy via e-mail:

    Last Mothers Day, while photographing at Coffee Pot Bayou near St. pete, we were quietly in position about 30 feet from the island in my 19 foot flats boat. We changed position depending on the bird’s activity with my electric trolling motor. All of a sudden a large touring vessel, the Dolphin Queen, shows up with Ann Paul on the ship’s PA system. At the time I had no idea who the person yelling at us was. I discovered later that it was Ann because I looked at the Dolphin Queen’s Facebook page when I got home. Apparently this Mothers Day trip is run every year by the St. Pete Audubon Society with Ann doing the narration. I could kick myself for not making a video of what happened with my I Phone. I guess that I was so shocked and surprised by what happened as when I had been out there in the past we would frequently always see the Dolphin Queen at close range without incident.

    A Question for Eric Draper, Executive Director of Audubon Florida

    Here is my question for Mr. Draper:

    Why did you choose not to respond to the letter below, sent to you via e-mail by Rob Christy last spring? (Rob’s e-mail below has been amended slightly without changing his meaning or intent.)

    Dear Mr. Draper,

    To introduce ourselves; we are a small group of experienced wildlife photographers who have published work in BBC Earth and National Geographic among others. One of our group members, is the long -time President of the Venice Camera Club. All of us have won many awards for our Florida wildlife images including Audubon Society contests.

    Last Sunday (Mothers’ Day) we were aboard a small 18 foot boat which encountered your tour at the Coffee Pot Bayou on the chartered Dolphin Queen. We have been to this rookery many times taking photographs while not disturbing the wildlife. Oftentimes, the Dolphin Queen has been cruising around the island as well- until now, there had never been an issue.

    On Sunday, we were quietly floating as always and only occasionally repositioned our boat with a noiseless electric trolling motor. In fact, we moved it closer to the island to make way for the 44 foot Dolphin Queen.

    Unfortunately the peaceful silence was suddenly interrupted by the Dolphin Queen’s repeated passes while spewing obnoxious exhaust fumes. The noise from its loud combustion-engine and the screeching voice of the narrator caused a disturbing upheaval throughout the nesting bird colony.

    To our surprise, Ann Paul, the narrator at the time, started to make rude and unjustified remarks about us and accused us of moving to close to the island and not caring about the wildlife. We were strongly offended by Ann Paul’s unprofessional and disrespectful behavior; she unwarrantedly vilified us and turned the boat’s passengers against us in a most insulting and vulgar manner.

    We feel that you should be aware of the nature of this individual and her insulting behavior. Hopefully this was an isolated incidence and we can continue to recommend the Dolphin Queen again to our friends, families, and clients.

    Thank you for your attention.
    Sincerely,
    Rob Christy

    Thanks and best, artie
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours: we cost more because you get more and learn more.






  2. Thanks Grady Weed thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Avian Moderator Marina Scarr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    10,038
    Threads
    403
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    To all reading this thread:

    Please, even if you do not live in Florida, please please sign the petition. Some of the boundaries they are suggesting, I don't even think they can implement b/c they encroach on our waterways, but they are always trying to take our sites away as photographers b/c of a few bad apples here and there. It is completely unfair. I urge you to please sign the petition. It only takes 1 minute, minimal info needed and you can do so anonymously.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
    Last edited by Marina Scarr; 08-14-2016 at 06:29 PM.
    Marina Scarr
    Florida Master Naturalist
    Website, Facebook

  4. Thanks Grady Weed thanked for this post
  5. #3
    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    21,280
    Threads
    3,063
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    What an absurd proposal brought forward by these "expert" groups. Petition signed.

  6. Thanks Grady Weed thanked for this post
  7. #4
    Avian Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    14,822
    Threads
    945
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    signed
    New! Birds in flight Photography Basics 2016
    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

  8. #5
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    26,907
    Threads
    1,246
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Thanks all especially Marina. It all boils down to a single unhappy camper... If you read the whole original post above you can figure out who that is quite easily. I have been screamed at by her too. Many times. She often says, "What you are doing is completely legal and you are not breaking any violations but we want you to move back."
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours: we cost more because you get more and learn more.






  9. #6
    Moderator, Digital Workflow Don Lacy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SE Florida
    Posts
    3,424
    Threads
    334
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed and what a joke the rookery at Wakadahatchee thrives with over a hundred visitors a day on the weekends passing within feet of the nests.
    Last edited by Arthur Morris; 08-13-2016 at 02:43 PM.
    Don Lacy
    You don't take a photograph, you make it - Ansel Adams
    There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs - Ansel Adams
    http://www.witnessnature.net/
    https://500px.com/lacy

  10. #7
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    26,907
    Threads
    1,246
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Thanks Don and you are most correct. Same at Green Cay...

    artie
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours: we cost more because you get more and learn more.






  11. #8
    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    9,032
    Threads
    616
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed!

  12. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  13. #9
    Forum Participant
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,647
    Threads
    83
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    I'm signer number 472.

    I grew up in North Florida in the 1950s and 1960s, prior to the Clean Rivers Act amendments 1966 and 1972. I lived on the St. Johns river and regularly boated in the feeder marshes. It was a big, happy event if I saw an osprey once or twice a year. I now, when visiting, see them every few hundred feet on the rivers, marshes and even ocean beaches filled with people. I NEVER saw a roseate spoonbill or wood stork in the 21-years that I lived there. Now I go out on a dock and they are likely to land within 50-feet of me. Great egret, tri-color heron, etc. abound. I can walk to a spoonbill/stork rookery and shoot across the alligator boundary for nesting shots, with no disturbance of the birds. In the late 1990s a great blue heron pair set up their nest in a pine tree in my parents' waterfront yard.

    This is an important fight, to protect quiet, responsible access to wildlife, not just in Florida, but throughout the USA. Here in Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommends a 1/2-mile buffer around an "active winter night perch" for bald eagles. The eagles haven't read that and often perch at sundown 50-yards from a well traveled road and closer than that to a state-run campground. For bald eagle "hunting perches" we're supposed to consult with CPW. Well, I know one hunting perch with a picnic table directly under it. I agree that extra care is needed with nesting rookeries and nests, but the distances suggested are often ridiculous and not correlated to species' sensitivity.

    Last year a Colorado state park ranger handed me a list of "suggested" buffers for various raptors, not just nesting, but perching and hunting. I wish that I could get my hands on it right now, but it's crazy. Fortunately, this ranger was actually trying to understand what was reasonable. I showed him some places that we often shoot from that seem outside of the birds' tolerance range, but were well within the state-suggested buffers. The rangers in that particular park are tolerant of photographers, within reason. That could change in the future with new rangers or an edict from "above."

    Besides the State, with have Audubon and "Raptor Rescue" groups that think they own all birds. They're often worse than the State. They seem to know how to identify birds, but they've not spent hours watching great blue heron build a nest and then feed their chicks, or quietly observe a Swainson's hawk pair from my car-blind as they tend to their nest while kingbirds and magpie harass them constantly.

    Florida-based osprey checks me out as I stand on dock:

    Eye Contact With Osprey by David Stephens, on Flickr

  14. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  15. #10
    BPN Member Robert Kimbrell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ft. Myers Fl.
    Posts
    902
    Threads
    82
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    signed!

  16. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  17. #11
    BPN Member Jim Crosswell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Stoney Point, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    6,145
    Threads
    445
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed #508.
    Last edited by Jim Crosswell; 09-08-2016 at 06:30 AM.

  18. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  19. #12
    BPN Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    2,927
    Threads
    716
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    I filled out and signed the petition a couple days ago.
    Joe Przybyla

    "Sometimes I do get to places just as God is ready to have somebody click the shutter"... Ansel Adams

    www.amazinglight.smugmug.com

  20. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  21. #13
    BPN Member Grady Weed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Parsonsfield, Maine
    Posts
    2,183
    Threads
    199
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    I signed the petition earlier, number 40?. Politics, personal grievances, personality conflicts and the like should never be a guideline for restricting the rights, privilege's of others to enjoy our natural resources such as this. Sometimes these self appointed "guardians", the vocation or cause doesn't matter, do more harm than those they try to keep out or away from what they are trying to "protect". As for the cost of a tour or on site class instruction, whose business is it to embarrass someone or intimidate them into submission, to make someone bend to their way of thinking or doing? I've been with James on a tour to coffee pot and he gives a first class tour. As for what I pay to go along, its no ones business. Especially to use that as a way to change access to us as a group. Thank you for bringing it to our attention Artie.
    Wildlife & Scenic Instructional Photography Tours Of Maine
    If You're Serious About Loons, Puffins and Lighthouses, That Makes Two Of Us!
    E-Mail: admingw@roadrunner.com or call (207) 625-3370 or (207) 838-8219 Cell

  22. #14
    Macro and Flora Moderator Steve Maxson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Bemidji, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,462
    Threads
    696
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed #559.

  23. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  24. #15
    BPN Member Raybel Robles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cayman Islands
    Posts
    576
    Threads
    60
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed! Haven't shot in FL for a couple years but I will be back surely someday!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/raybelr/


    Bird Photography: A never ending learning curve.

  25. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  26. #16
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    26,907
    Threads
    1,246
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grady Weed View Post
    I signed the petition earlier, number 40?. Politics, personal grievances, personality conflicts and the like should never be a guideline for restricting the rights, privilege's of others to enjoy our natural resources such as this. Sometimes these self appointed "guardians", the vocation or cause doesn't matter, do more harm than those they try to keep out or away from what they are trying to "protect". As for the cost of a tour or on site class instruction, whose business is it to embarrass someone or intimidate them into submission, to make someone bend to their way of thinking or doing? I've been with James on a tour to coffee pot and he gives a first class tour. As for what I pay to go along, its no ones business. Especially to use that as a way to change access to us as a group. Thank you for bringing it to our attention Artie.
    Thanks on all counts Grady. This deal is not "politics, personal grievances, or personality conflicts."

    It all stems from one person with an ax to grind. And nobody knows or understands why...

    a
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours: we cost more because you get more and learn more.






  27. #17
    BPN Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mansfield Center, CT
    Posts
    851
    Threads
    109
    Thank You Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Signed #611.

  28. #18
    BPN Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    2,927
    Threads
    716
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post

    It all stems from one person with an ax to grind. And nobody knows or understands why...

    a
    If I remember correctly the island has been named after her deceased husband. A memorial to him, it would seem to make her feel she owns the island.
    Joe Przybyla

    "Sometimes I do get to places just as God is ready to have somebody click the shutter"... Ansel Adams

    www.amazinglight.smugmug.com

  29. #19
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indian Lake Estates, FL
    Posts
    26,907
    Threads
    1,246
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Przybyla View Post
    If I remember correctly the island has been named after her deceased husband. A memorial to him, it would seem to make her feel she owns the island.
    Hi Joe, Yes. When Rich Paul was alive, both he and Ann were very nice to me. They took me out to Egmont Key to photograph and I was a speaker/instructor at the festival that they did in St. Pete for several years. Who invited me? Ann and Rich Paul. And then suddenly I morphed into an unscrupulous serial disturber of birds, at least in Ann's mind. Strange indeed.

    a
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours: we cost more because you get more and learn more.






  30. #20
    BPN Member D. Robert Franz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cody, WY
    Posts
    2,456
    Threads
    420
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed.. WE must fight over zealous regulations everywhere!

    D. Robert Franz

    Upcoming Photo Tours: "The Bears of Yellowstone" "Bald Eagles of Alaska"

  31. #21
    Story Sequences Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    4,189
    Threads
    263
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed, S-Ka
    Gabriela Plesea

    www.gappimages.com

  32. Thanks Arthur Morris thanked for this post
  33. #22
    Avian Moderator Doug Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    11,607
    Threads
    883
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed!
    Upcoming Workshops: Costa Rica 2017 (SOLD OUT)
    Website -
    Facebook - 500px

  34. #23
    Avian Moderator David Salem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Riverside, CA
    Posts
    5,525
    Threads
    232
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed #980
    Come join me for a Custom Raptor Workshop starting this November 2016 - January 2017.
    Ducks Unlimited Workshop January 16-19 2017
    P.M. me to inquire on dates, pricing and availabilities. Thank You.
    www.davidsalemphotography.com

  35. #24
    BPN Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Los Alamos , NM
    Posts
    196
    Threads
    19
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed # 1003.

  36. #25
    BPN Member keith mitchell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lincolnshire UK.
    Posts
    4,345
    Threads
    160
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed.

  37. #26
    BPN Member Mike Poole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    1,571
    Threads
    146
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Number 1015

  38. #27
    BPN Member Juan Tolentino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    58
    Threads
    19
    Thank You Posts

    Default

    Signed #1019

Similar Threads

  1. Help Needed, Please
    By Loyce Hood in forum Photography Gear
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 01-31-2008, 11:32 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Web Analytics