Monday, December 9, 2013

NYC kills Snowy Owls while Boston saves them...

If you have not heard about this as yet, I am talking about the senseless killing of Snowy Owls. Apparently, NY/NJ Port Authority don't give a Hedwig about having them around the airports and so they put them on their no fly zone "kill list".  Meaning Snowy Owls are to be terminated on site at our local airports.   As a result, 3 of these lovable birds were killed this past Saturday at JFK.  The story was carried in the Daily News today and nature lovers from all walks of live were aghast when they learned of the news.

"Kill List"?  Yes, there is such a list that includes birds such as European Starlings, Red-winged Blackbirds, Canada Geese etc.  All considered hazardous to the airports and the planes.  Note, these are all birds who move in pretty large flocks unlike Snowy Owls who are not seen here in such massive numbers.  You would think the Port Authority would have a better strategy in place to handle the few Snowy Owls that show up in the winter but I guess killing them is the easiest way.

Harry Potter would cringe after all, whooo would want to kill these adorable birds.  Well Boston doesn't want to kill Snowy Owls.  At Logan Airport in MA, a SUCCESSFUL program has been in place where Snowy Owls are trapped, banded (studied) and released.  Why doesn't NY implement such a program?  This is the question many are asking and as a result many have been using various avenues all day today, to contact Governor Cuomo, local politicians, the NY/NJ Port Authority, DEC etc to get their attention to this issue.

You could do your part as well by making a phone call, writing a letter, signing a petition or sending a tweet. Whatever method you are comfortable with, this is the time to take action.  I have compiled a list of sources that a number of NY, NJ and PA birders submitted to their respective list serves.  Use them wisely and use them often.  Keep up the pressure!

Call the Governor:

To reach Governor Cuomo’s office in Albany call (518) 474-8390

To send mail to the Governor use the following:

New York State Governor's Correspondence Unit
1 Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231

Snail mail is reported to be most effective way of getting your concerns relayed as e-mail often times is not as good in reaching its intended recipient.

Contact the Port Authority:

You can also contact the Port Authority directly by sending a message from their web site at:

Port Authority Telephone Numbers and Snail Mail Address:

PA Media Relations Office - 212-435-777 or Fax 212-435-4032 or Snail Mail to 
Patrick Foye PA's Executive Director at Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
225 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 1003

Contact DEC 

The DEC which is probably going to be the organization tasked with addressing this issue can be contacted at NYSDEC Region 2 Natural Resources Supervisor at 

Send a Tweet: 

If you have a twitter account send the Governor a tweet with your concerns (this also gets higher public visibility): An example tweet which I sent out today looks like this 

Example tweet to the NY/NJ Port Authority

Make Stop shooting Snowy Owls at NY Metro-Area airports - Sign the Petition

Sign the online petition that was started and already gaining steam.

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Anonymous said...

Comments should really be directed towards NYDEC. I believe that they are refusing to issue permits to trap and relocate birds.

Anonymous said...

Sean Hannity REALLY made me mad today on his radio show. He kept saying that "snowy owls should know better than to live in NYC", "there are no species of owls that live in NYC, only pigeons, rats and raccoons", "humans are more important than snowy owls, so they should be eliminated", etc. He started sounding like a total ignoramus. He certainly knows nothing about wildlife in NYC>