Good year for snowy owl sightings, maybe

Here’s a nicer article: Snowy owls invade the U.P. (with photos and map)
The snowy owl (Nyctea scandiacus, or in some sources Bubo scandiacus) generally stays too far north for American birders to see, but every few years they wander far from the Canadian north into the States. They’ve even been reported in southern states. The article says that a lot of them are in rough shape, starving perhaps because of too much competition due to an unusually good breeding season. Many of the travelers are immatures. The article has a map that indicates some sightings have already been made in Detroit’s northeastern outer suburbs and in metro Chicago. It’s a circumpolar species, so I wonder if this is happening in Europe and Asia too. I guess this is a good year to keep an eye open for big white birds.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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5 Responses to Good year for snowy owl sightings, maybe

  1. kenny2fl says:

    Snowy owls

    I doubt that we will see many in Florida.
    Congrats — you have one of the better journals. — Kenny

    • songdogmi says:

      Re: Snowy owls

      Probably not. Though I’ve read reports of them getting pretty far south. I want to say northern Alabama? Or Arkansas?

      Thanks! I appreciate the compliments. Glad to meet’cha!

  2. zenicurean says:

    Snowy owls! Awesome.

    • songdogmi says:

      Yeah! I hope I manage to find one this time around. We even have one at our zoo, as part of the big Arctic Ring of Life exhibit, but it has always been hiding or indisposed or something when I’ve been there.

      • zenicurean says:

        They’re nifty animals. I’m not too sure if I’ve ever seen a snowy owl in my life, even above the Arctic Rim. They used to be ludicrously common around the northern regions here, but they got hunted and/or egg-foraged near to death in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Might not have been until the sixties before somebody figured out this wasn’t a good idea, and the birds finally got protected. (I think there’s something like a €3300/$4400 fine if you accidentally take one down.)

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