Sheriff's deputies have long been vigilant about birders and especially
photographers around the airport fence, in both tense and more relaxed
times.

Twice over the past 20 years, starting at least a few years after 9/11,
sheriff's deputies have pulled me over along Snyder Road, asked me what I
was doing, and then cheerfully sent me on my way.  Once the deputy explained
that officers were watching me from the sheriff's building along Warren
Road, then decided to send someone out when they saw me taking photos [of
Vesper Sparrows].  I recall that Deputy Anderson specifically told me to
pull my car all the way off the road when stopping to bird.  I don't
remember specific instructions about not taking photos.

Still, since then I have made a point of not taking photos through the
fence.  I figure that if I ever find a Snowy Owl or something like that, I
can always call the sheriff's office to explain first.  Also, I do make a
point of calling ahead if I lead groups along Snyder Road, as I sometimes do
for the CBC on January 1.

Anyway, after that first incident, I sent a letter with my photos to Deputy
Anderson, explaining why the Vesper Sparrows, as well as woodcocks and other
airport birds, are special.  He was glad to receive the letter.

So I have always thought that the sheriff's office is striking a reasonable
balance in ensuring airport security while still being friendly and
respectful to me as a birder.  I do see that six squad cars is a whole
different level of response.  Maybe it is somehow because the officers are
more wary in these troubled times.  But given my past experience, I would
guess that it's more likely a case of Magnus having companions, and then
maybe a backup request getting out to a few on-duty officers at once.

Mark Chao




-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-124477674-3493...@list.cornell.edu
<bounce-124477674-3493...@list.cornell.edu> On Behalf Of Kenneth V.
Rosenberg
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2020 7:13 PM
To: Marie P. Read <m...@cornell.edu>; Magnus Fiskesjo
<magnus.fiske...@cornell.edu>; CAYUGABIRDS-L
<cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Ithaca airport Meadowlarks / with a warning

They did a similar thing right after 9/11, which might have been slightly
more justified than today. Many birding locations, such as sewage ponds in
Arizona, have remained closed to birders indefinitely -- for no good reason.
The "authorities" look for any chance to exude their paranoia and infringe
more and more on public rights. What possibly could photographing birds near
a municipal airport have to do with slowing a pandemic. I think we should
resist.

Ken Rosenberg
Applied Conservation Scientist
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
American Bird Conservancy
Fellow, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future k...@cornell.edu
Wk: 607-254-2412
Cell: 607-342-4594


On 3/19/20, 5:40 PM, "bounce-124477516-3493...@list.cornell.edu on behalf
of Marie P. Read" <bounce-124477516-3493...@list.cornell.edu on behalf of
m...@cornell.edu> wrote:

    WOOOOH! Things are getting seriously weird.

    Marie

    Marie Read Wildlife Photography
    452 Ringwood Road
    Freeville NY  13068 USA

    e-mail   m...@cornell.edu
    Website:     http://www.marieread.com

    AUTHOR of:
    Mastering Bird Photography: The Art, Craft, and Technique of
Photographing Birds and Their Behavior

    https://rockynook.com/shop/photography/mastering-bird-photography/?REF=101/
    ________________________________________
    From: bounce-124477508-5851...@list.cornell.edu
[bounce-124477508-5851...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Magnus Fiskesjo
[magnus.fiske...@cornell.edu]
    Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2020 5:36 PM
    To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
    Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Ithaca airport Meadowlarks / with a warning

    This afternoon, Thursday 19 March 2020, traveling along Snyder Rd. at
Ithaca Tompkins Airport to listen for meadowlarks singing.

    We did hear two different singing birds, and saw one singing from the
airport fence.

    Then, the airport police caught up with us and wanted to know what we
were doing! I told them we were out to listen for the beautiful song of the
meadowlark. In the end, 6 police cars showed up (airport and county
sheriff), writing down all my details and asking the same questions.

    What a story.

    In the end, the airport police said, if you give them a call beforehand
and tell them you are coming, you are allowed to birdwatch.

    But NO cameras!

    I suggested to them to add that, to the NO TRESPASSING signs.

    --sincerely,

    Magnus Fiskesjö, PhD

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