We have had many reports of Snowy Owls in our region this year. Not typical at all. I saw 5 at Presque Isle State Park today.
Beautiful bird and the picture is stunning - great background to highlight this young owl. You are lucky! Very happy for you that you got to see one, much less 5! Lovely.
Great pic of a fantastic bird! Presque Isle State Park sounds like the perfect place for an adventurous young Snowy Owl to winter over.
Very neat photo.
I hate to be "that " person (I always hate how people sound when they say these types of things) but Snowies that irrupt this far south- even to Presque Isle- tend to be stressed and starved. This message is to all that read this (not directed at the original poster)- be sure to keep your distance from these birds. Photograph from afar. We've lost a few in my state already this winter from starvation and/or injury and I know none of us want to further stress these far-traveled visitors.
Good point, TMFF. And adding to the stress is the fact that native birds, such as Peregrine Falcons, attack the owls that enter their territory.
Snowy Owl vs. Peregrine Falcon - Cape May, New Jersey
It seems the Snowy Owl sightings are up in some other regions. There was a national story about one in North Carolina or somewhere close to that. There is chatter on the Pa bird website about the eastern side of Pa. I would think this would be a good sign as far as the status of the Snowy Owl. Birds die in travel and get eaten too. Its just part of it all. I think the interest of these visitors by bird watchers ultimately is a positive for the owls, eagles, or whatever catches peoples fancy. There was a report of 14 Snowy Owls counted at Presque Isle. We have thousands of ducks on the bay at times. I wonder if that was the attraction. Thanks for the positive feedback on the photo!
Yes- this has been another irruption year for the most part. Not quite 2011's numbers but a good amount have come down this year, especially in the eastern states. Snowy Owl irruptions are cyclical: good food sources result in more offspring, more offspring result in food shortages. Snowies migrate this far south for food. They are very out of their element here and they do this out of desperation. Many of these Snowies never make it back to the Arctic. It's just something to keep in mind as we enjoy these rare viewing opportunities; the Snowy Owls we are viewing are most likely in a stressed state. Thanks for posting the beautiful photo.
This post was edited by TMFF on Thu, Dec 26, 13 at 15:45
Here is a good piece from eBird about it all. From the big invasion a couple of years ago and the associated stress these birds endure.
Here is a link that might be useful: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/got-snowies/
This post was edited by TMFF on Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 10:59
Here is a link that might be useful: N. J. sees invasion from snowy owls
The owls seem to be dining on the abundance of ducks in Presque Isle Bay. We saw several carcasses on the beach. I believe they are all looking well fed.
One more day of Snowy Owl hunting today as the weather takes a turn for the worse next week. Its a very windy,harsh area on Lake Erie where these birds are. Twenty degrees and snow on Monday,low teens at night, means count me out on the hike to visit these guys. They could not have picked a colder spot around here. Wide open and right on the lake. They will have some privacy now, I am sure the weather is mild compared to what they withstand. Chill factors on that little corner of Presque Isle should be 30 below next week if there is any kind of wind.
Great pics of such inscrutable looking birds. Maybe they're thinking these paparazzi can't possibly survive the chill factors that are sure to come sooner or later.
Glad you could stick it out for a while and get the pictures for us.
this snowy owl is very unique and very rare in the world, we can say it is the King of the Night.