Wednesday, February 4, 2015

White-crowned Pigeon

The White-crowned Pigeon has returned once again to Ding Darling along the Calusa Shell Mound Trail. This pigeon is usually seen in the keys and as such makes this appearance quite a special sight. 
This Pigeon has generated quite a crowd - birders and photographers. Unfortunately, some folks have taken the art of photography to extreme and in essence have generated some actions from Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge.

As a volunteer for Ding Darling, I received this note this morning in my e-mail box:
 At the J.N. "Ding" Darling NWR, we encourage visitors to respectfully enjoy wildlife at a safe distance.  However, occasionally some visitors go to extra lengths to enhance their experience without regard to the health and safety of wildlife. This can result in the disturbance or harassment of wildlife. Disturbance or harassment of wildlife is defined as any activity that alters or changes the natural behavior of wildlife, which can be detrimental to the animal's health, safety, or productivity. Types of activities that can cause disturbance or harassment are: getting too close to, or chasing wildlife; using flash photography in close proximity to wildlife; playing recorded bird calls; cutting vegetation near a nest; feeding wildlife; or throwing objects at wildlife. Any action that results in the disturbance or harassment of wildlife on a national wildlife refuge is unethical and illegal, and can result in hefty fines or arrest. Witnesses to any of these types of violations are encouraged to report them immediately to Refuge Management at (239) 472-1100. Remember to exercise caution when viewing, photographing, or filming wildlife for the welfare of the wildlife and for the respect of other visitors. 

The Pigeon does seem to be on its toes - so to speak - as I observed him to be on the look out for anyone on the boardwalk. I wouldn't be surprised that it's a result of having been bombarded by flash photography - which was making the bird quite uncomfortable....thank goodness for folks on the lookout for the welfare of our feathered friends and speaking on their behalf.

"Now, if you don't mind, I will go about in search of my favorite morsels.....

.....some juicy Snow Berries - yum!

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