Burrowing Owls called the PoPo on me. Nah, not really but the two made for a very interesting morning.
I stopped to check out one of the reported burrowing owl spots just northeast of Denver International Airport. Found the pair and was having a good time taking pictures of them from my truck. I noticed an SUV with the City of Denver logo on the doors drive by a few times checking me out and figured he didn’t like me being where I was at. Note however that I was NOT in any of the restricted stopping areas that are out there – I was well outside them.
After 15 minutes or so clouds move in so I decide to move on and head back west. Sure enough, here comes a Denver Police Department SUV that promptly flips a u-turn behind me and pulls me over. Very nice guy. He explains that airport security was getting nervous because I was taking pics near airport facilities. I tell him I was checking out owls and even show him my captures from the morning. He then asks for my ID and goes back to his car to check it out.
Next thing I know two more cop cars show up (they were likely called in advance before they knew I wasn’t a terrorist and instead just a dumb photographer). They all walk up and we begin chit-chatting, showed them my pictures and one even pointed out where he had seen some eagles recently. They reiterate that the fact I was close to the airport got their attention but they also admit that I was in a perfectly legal spot parked alongside a public road so did nothing wrong.
It was a pleasant encounter for sure although I have to say this is the first time my photographic activity has caused such a stir from law enforcement. LOL! Anyway, I thought you might enjoy the story and picture.
- On the net: ACLU – Know Your Rights: Photographers