Long-eared owls

Long-eared owls are seen on the Washington County Grasslands in Fort Edward.

The Washington County Grasslands are getting some well-deserved attention from birders lately.

It's especially been a hopping spot because some long-eared owls have been spotted over the last few weeks.

But the excitement over feathered friends can attract some irresponsible birders — you know, the people who block driveways, mailboxes or seem to point binoculars directly into your front window.

The Friends of the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area have heard from landowners frustrated by these people flocking around their houses, according to a newsletter. 

"They have people there, pointing their big cameras toward the house, and getting in the way," said Friends Founder Laurie LaFond. "It's just really annoying, and they're sick of it."

The Friends group is raising funds to beef up owl habitat on the conserved lands, in hopes of attracting the owls off of private property. 

But until then, LaFond hopes visiting birders will be respectful of people's land and privacy.

There are public viewing platforms and parking areas available. Check out the Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area on the east side of County Route 42 in Fort Edward or the Washington County Grasslands Wildlife Management Area on Blackhouse Road in Fort Edward.

Gwendolyn Craig

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Reporter Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (518) 742-3238 or gcraig@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1


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