Heck, Mike even tried to invoke feral cats as an instrument for expediting the 
lowering of the water level in the East Pond at JBWR.  That was my favorite all 
time post.

[cid:image001.png@01D36DD9.D79567A0]

Bob Grover
d +1 (631) 761-7369 | c +1 (516) 318-8536
An Equal Opportunity Employer


From: bounce-122106516-3714...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-122106516-3714...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Mike
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 2:55 PM
To: brian.whip...@gmail.com
Cc: Rick <rc...@nyc.rr.com>; NYSBIRDS <NYSBIRDS-L@cornell.edu>; Shaibal Mitra 
<shaibal.mi...@csi.cuny.edu>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] [NFBirds Report 3221] Snowy Owl, No

Well, for starters the first sentence of the original post revealed the 
location of a Snowy Owl.  And while this discussion stayed civil, it’s probably 
the only time I’ve ever seen it happen that a “control the _______” fill in the 
blank with swans, geese, cats, etc managed to remain civil.  So kudos to those 
involved for not going off the rails.  I assumed the worst and was proven wrong.

Mike
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 5, 2017, at 2:28 PM, 
brian.whip...@gmail.com<mailto:brian.whip...@gmail.com> wrote:
I’m not sure that Chris would have to intervene here. This discussion is one of 
the reasons this list exists. Though its primary purpose is dissemination of 
sightings, take a look at this paragraph from the listserve rules:

Questions and limited discussion on topics such as bird behavior, 
identification, conservation, and distribution, especially as these subjects 
relate to wild birds in and around New York State, are welcomed and encouraged.

Encouraged! Thanks for the thoughtful discussion, everyone. I felt one way at 
the beginning and another way by the end. Good stuff.

Brian

On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:32 PM Rick 
<rc...@nyc.rr.com<mailto:rc...@nyc.rr.com>> wrote:
Quick agreement with Shai -- by "non-migratory" I didn't mean "feral", just
populations that in the past may have been migratory but have now become
sedentary / local, in some or all seasons.

-----Original Message-----
From: 
bounce-122103624-3714...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-122103624-3714...@list.cornell.edu>
[mailto:bounce-122103624-3714...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-122103624-3714...@list.cornell.edu>]
 On Behalf Of Shaibal
Mitra
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 10:22 PM
To: NYSBIRDS (NYSBIRDS-L@cornell.edu<mailto:NYSBIRDS-L@cornell.edu>) 
<NYSBIRDS-L@cornell.edu<mailto:NYSBIRDS-L@cornell.edu>>
Subject: RE: [nysbirds-l] [NFBirds Report 3221] Snowy Owl, No

As everyone so far has contributed in good faith, and given that this
listserv is devoted to NYS birds of all kinds, not just rare, why not
discuss?

My perception is that waterfowl are thriving above and beyond all other
ecological guilds. The explosion in Canada Goose numbers is not attributable
to the feral component; it is the northern, natural populations that are
expanding under climate change. In general, we have been finding ducks and
geese in tremendous abundance and diversity throughout NYS in recent years.
If Mute Swans are a problem, it is a very small one compared to many other
threats to our environment. And, as Rick points out, our environment has
been abused so badly for so long that a lot of what is still here is in a
co-dependent relationship with past abuse.

For example, there are legitimate (mostly non-avian) rationales undergirding
the recent fascination with undoing Long Island's ubiquitous, centuries-old
dams. While possibly restoring fish runs, this policy would also drain
innumerable South Shore ponds, probably removing many thousands of ducks
from Long Island--more than Mute Swans ever displaced. Arguably these would
be ducks that "shouldn't have been here anyway," but what if the fish
populations don't recover either? But this is just one example. Should we
invest in the Sisyphean eradication of multiflora rose? Honeysuckle?
Phragmites? The answers to these various massive-scale questions range from
"probably not" to "maybe."

In contrast, I think the expenditure of time and money on eradicating Mute
Swans is entirely misplaced. The potential benefits are demonstrably small,
and the public relations costs are likely significant--and this is not to
mention the logistical costs. Why not use those resources and whatever
public good will remains in this dark age to buy xxx hectares of
scabby-looking oak woods? If we don't, all we'll have are sterile
creaks--without dams but also without ponds--built up to the edges, and
without any woods either.

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore
________________________________________
From: 
bounce-122103568-3714...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-122103568-3714...@list.cornell.edu>
[bounce-122103568-3714...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-122103568-3714...@list.cornell.edu>]
 on behalf of Rick
[rc...@nyc.rr.com<mailto:rc...@nyc.rr.com>]
Sent: Monday, December 4, 2017 9:22 PM
To: 'Tim Dunn'; 'Frederick Kedenburg'
Cc: 'Michael Cooper'; 'NYS BIRDS'
Subject: RE: [nysbirds-l] [NFBirds Report 3221] Snowy Owl, No

First, kudos to Chris T-H for keeping order in our rangy group. A laudable
task, not simple.

Second, the fact that one invasive (Mute Swans) may be more of less
destructive than another (non-migratory "barnyard" Canada Geese) is a
sensible question for discussion (maybe or maybe not on a rare bird
list-serve, but leave that aside for the moment).

Like many birders, I abhor human intrusions into natural bird habitats and
behavior (such as introduction of invasives, even though they admittedly may
have the odd beneficial effect, such as some popular garden plants that
provide sustenance for native butterfly species, my specialty), and I
likewise abhor anthromorpic "cuddling" of cute species that cause massive
harm (feral cats). I also recognize the "PR" value of engaging public
sentiment with salient "nature hooks," while being aware of the double-edged
sword nature of such appeals.

Maybe our list serve is not the right place to hold these discussions, esp.
when they become vitriolic. But what is the right forum? I'm interested in
having a well-thought-through set of conservation propositions being widely
discussed and endorsed in the community.

Suggestions?

Rick

From: 
bounce-122103507-3714...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-122103507-3714...@list.cornell.edu>
[mailto:bounce-122103507-3714...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-122103507-3714...@list.cornell.edu>]
 On Behalf Of Tim Dunn
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 8:37 PM
To: Frederick Kedenburg 
<kedenb...@optonline.net<mailto:kedenb...@optonline.net>>
Cc: Michael Cooper <mike5...@icloud.com<mailto:mike5...@icloud.com>>; NYS BIRDS 
<NYSbirds-L@cornell.edu<mailto:NYSbirds-L@cornell.edu>>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] [NFBirds Report 3221] Snowy Owl, No

I agree Fred, as to the context of the conversation. It's not an easy issue
for birders and reasonable minds can differ on these issues.

I also have no problem with dealing with the "immigrant" swan population as
humanely as possible. To me, the most palatable solution would probably be
to prevent more cygnets and let the existing population live out their
lives, though I also suspect that would be the most expensive way to deal
with or solve the problem, with the DEC oiling and pricking eggs for
decades.

Frankly, I don't know how the swan overpopulation on my local pond should be
addressed, but I'd only be in favor of a dealing with it through a method
that is decent and humane. I would like to see a return of some native
waterfowl that I blame the swans for driving out. Certainly, it's not
necessary to eliminate every mute swan, but my opinion is that there needs
to be some control of populations in certain places like Argyle Lake.
Argyle still holds the occasional birding surprise,  but native waterfowl
numbers seem clearly to be down due to the proliferation of swans there.
Hardly any waterfowl breed there now, besides the swans.

Thanks,
Tim Dunn
Babylon, NY
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 4, 2017, at 7:54 PM, Frederick Kedenburg
<kedenb...@optonline.net<mailto:kedenb...@optonline.net><mailto:kedenb...@optonline.net<mailto:kedenb...@optonline.net>>>
 wrote:
I don't think Chris T-H needs to weigh in on this as it is a polite
conversation of an issue that we all know about.
Many of us have opinions that will not be changed. That is everyones right.

I have simply this one thing to say:
I know many out there wish to eliminate the Swans for what they believe are
scientific reasons.
I think the Mute Swan, now that they have been here for over a century, have
as much a right to live as any immigrant does today.
Their numbers and the damage they do is really negligible compared to other
species.

Are not Swans now to be considered naturalized and a beauty for all to
behold? I think they need this protection.
rk


On Dec 4, 2017, at 6:21 PM, Michael Cooper
<mike5...@icloud.com<mailto:mike5...@icloud.com><mailto:mike5...@icloud.com<mailto:mike5...@icloud.com>>>
 wrote:

Well said Tim, but I think I hear the footsteps of Chris T-H on the way, so
I'm going to mention a bird in this post and "duck" out of the way of the
ban hammer!

Mike Cooper
Ridge LI NY
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 4, 2017, at 6:03 PM, Tim Dunn
<timd...@optonline.net<mailto:timd...@optonline.net><mailto:timd...@optonline.net<mailto:timd...@optonline.net>>>
 wrote:
Fred and any others interested,

Two mute swans by you is no problem. Up to 65 can be seen on any given day
on Argyle Lake in Babylon.  It is a pond that is less than 1/4 mile in
circumference.  All other breeding waterfowl here have been eradicated by
these swans. Some migrant waterfowl use the pond but less than in the past.
Few dabbling ducks use it as swans have eaten all vegetation on the bottom
of the pond to as far as their long necks can reach.

Geese come and go in migration here, but the mute swans are a constant.  So
I would expect that the reason that DEC wants to control them is that they
are an invasive species that is destroying the local ecosystem and driving
out native species. Maybe not happening by you, but definitely happening
here in western Suffolk.


Non-birders are aware of this issue because it appeared in the newspapers
when the DEC came out and said they would start removing the swans. That
typically means shooting, trapping, poisoning, etc. Hardly anyone likes the
idea of culling these birds through cruel and inhumane ways (including me),
so the subject comes up for a debate that has reached beyond birders and
wildlife people from time to time.  My understanding is that egg oiling and
similar tactics are being used, or at least are up for discussion, to
control the population.


Since they are an invasive and destructive species, any connection that an
observer feels to wildlife by viewing feral mute swans is based entirely on
a lack of understanding of the natural world around them. You might have
done more for the guy you ran into today if you had told him that if it
weren't for those swans, he might be seeing ten different species of
waterfowl that they have driven away.  Beauty is obviously in the eye of the
beholder, but I'd prefer green-wing teal and pintails to those swans.


(And sociologically speaking, to me those swans represent the escaped stock
of early successful Americans anxious to imitate the "Lords of the Manor" in
Europe, who are the same folks that my Irish ancestors fled to America to
get away from.)


While stepping around goose droppings and occasionally having to hit the
brakes to allow a goose flock to cross the street is an inconvenience, I
don't think it has nearly the adverse effect on the local environment that
the swans have had in my part of Long Island.


Thanks,
Tim Dunn
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 4, 2017, at 4:58 PM, Frederick Kedenburg
<kedenb...@optonline.net<mailto:kedenb...@optonline.net><mailto:kedenb...@optonline.net<mailto:kedenb...@optonline.net>>>
 wrote:
Although yes, I do know this issue was posted locally on the NF, yet it
still has many repercussions to birders throughout NYS therefore I am
posting.
If you wish to eradicate Mute Swan I am sorry.
rk

North Fork LI NY: I went looking for the reported Snowy at the Mattituck
Inlet Breakwater today but although I looked along the Beach, east & west
and patrolled the DEC conservation and boat ramp area I could not find it.
I'll try again as once the species shows up it can be persistent. The
predominant waterfowl there today was Long-tailed Duck. It was good to hear
their call once again this season.

After some coffee and a late breakfast in Mattituck I went to Laurel Lake.
There were plentiful numbers of Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck and American
Coot. Also seen were one Great Blue Heron, one Pied Billed Grebe and a
Gadwall.

As an aside:
There were two Mute Swan in the Laurel Lake compared to hundreds of Canada
Geese there today.
Why does the NYS-DEC seem so preoccupied with extirpating all the Mute Swan
and is doing next to nothing in addressing the vast numbers of Canada Geese
in NYS. The geese cause so much damage to wetlands and to water quality due
to the hugh amount of poop they produce. Loading nitrogen into our bays and
wetlands is only part of the problem. Maneuvering about many parking lots
and commercial businesses with grass without encountering poop is
problematic.
I understand from DEC records that the Mute Swan population in NYS is
somewhere between 2800 and 3500. Please correct me if I am wrong.

As I was looking through my scope this morning at Laurel Lake a fellow came
along walking his dog and asked me what I was looking at. I gave him a brief
description of the species there and he said to me. "Why do they want to
kill all the swans? He continued to say "I love the Swans, they are so
beautiful and my kids love to see them as well". I wondered how an average
person had come to know about this issue.

My point here is that I believe the Mute Swan, although yes it is an
'invasive species', does more good than harm as it helps connect people with
a world around them they did not know before. The Swans in effect connect
people to nature and help create a culture of conservation that helps us
all.

As for Canada Geese I have nothing against them; however, to put thing into
perspective when I do the DEC Winter Waterfowl Census in January I
frequently find about 3,000 Canada Geese in the fields along Oregon Road
Mattituck NY alone. Imagine how many statewide.

In my opinion the DEC needs to get their priorities in the correct order and
concern themselves with a gradual reduction in the population of Canada
Geese. Whether it be through addling of eggs or a more lenient view when it
comes to hunting and or donation of the take to food banks something must be
done.
rk



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