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View Full Version : Snowy Owl Irruption - North Eastern US



JBreeze
01-09-2014, 11:18 PM
This year Snowy Owls are everywhere in the North East, especially along the coast.

I'm too lazy to hike trails in cold weather, so I waited for one to show up in my 'hood....finally got some pics from Beavertail:

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x92/jbreeze_albums/Snowy2tr_zps24439547.jpg

The weather in the North East promises to be warmer this weekend so take the opportunity to get away from the keyboard for a bit.|:)

Paul Girouard
01-09-2014, 11:33 PM
Nice:-))

SMARTINSEN
01-09-2014, 11:35 PM
Indeed.

pwilling
01-09-2014, 11:40 PM
in the winter of 1961 i went out to Plum Island off the Mass coast, we saw seven snowy owls out there in one day. Plus a beautiful stoneware jug that I beachcombed and still have.

LongIslandBoy
01-09-2014, 11:50 PM
If memory serves, Hannibal Lecter referred to Plum Island as "Anthrax Island". I'm surprised you got away with the "beachcombing"!

elf
01-09-2014, 11:52 PM
Spent two hours yesterday searching along Mass Bay in Sandwich and Sagamore. No owls. Sigh.

If there's a visible aurora this down I'll not be searching later in the morning either. It's 15˚ out there now at midnight.

Donn
01-09-2014, 11:58 PM
Great pic!

JBreeze
01-09-2014, 11:59 PM
Here is a link to a map of dynamic sighting of the snowy owl (or any other bird)....keep zooming in until you see "red balloons" - then click on a balloon for date, #'s and other specifics:

http://ebird.org/ebird/map/snoowl1?bmo=1&emo=12&byr=2010&eyr=2014

Was Hannibal referring to the FDA's Plum Island between Ct and Long Island, or the Mass. Plum Island?

Jimmy W
01-10-2014, 12:09 AM
One made it down to Florida.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgPAomwx8e8

JBreeze
01-10-2014, 12:12 AM
Look at that Canon lens (the whitish one)!!! I'm sort of getting, ah, lens envy!

David G
01-10-2014, 12:45 AM
At first I thought the map was gonna say none seen in the Pacific NW. That would be a surprise, because I think I saw one myself - last winter. But the map just took a while to load. I'm no bird expert, but was walking the river one winter day, and saw a huge white bird go by. There were trees between me & the river, but I was pretty sure it was an owl. My auto mechanic is a serious birder, so I asked him what it might have been, and he said a Snowy Owl most likely... that some had been seen this far south just recently.

elf
01-10-2014, 12:46 AM
Most of that lens is lens shade. Don't rush to be so jealous.

Now if you've got $20,000 hanging around, you could get a fancy lens, however.

purri
01-10-2014, 01:00 AM
Meh, just buy the near waterproof Pentax K3 and the new 560mm. BTW had a white faced sea eagle chittering overhead today while 2 Little ("Fairy") Penguins rounded up their lunch in the surf.

rbgarr
01-10-2014, 10:04 AM
If memory serves, Hannibal Lecter referred to Plum Island as "Anthrax Island". I'm surprised you got away with the "beachcombing"!

THAT Plum Island is the one off the north fork of the east end of Long Island: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plum_Island_Animal_Disease_Center

Soundbounder
01-10-2014, 10:33 AM
Quite a few sightings along the Sound. Here's a story from today's New Haven Register (includes a wooden boat in the distance ;))

http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20140109/multiple-snowy-owls-arrive-in-connecticut-from-arctic-in-rare-spectacle

and a story from Shelter Island:

http://shelterislandreporter.timesreview.com/2013/12/22305/owls-irrupting-all-over-the-east-end/

Bob Adams
01-10-2014, 10:35 AM
They relocated one yesterday at BWI airport, south of Baltimore.

skipper68
01-10-2014, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the thread. :)
A few years ago, I was walking back to the boat at the Elks club, and one flew right by my right shoulder. It made no noise at all. That really surprised me because of its wing span. I then read that they fly very silent.
Beautiful birds.

bogdog
01-10-2014, 11:18 AM
Don't know how many of them will survive the trip south, more than a few have succumbed or fallen ill to starvation. If ya got a few spare rats or mice in yer home colonies take a few with ya when you go looking for the birds. As always give yer rodents a good multi-vitamin before you release them...

bogdog
01-10-2014, 11:32 AM
I've heard owls hooting virtually every night, year round, in my heavily forested neighborhood.... but in 34 years living there, I've never seen one. :(

I HAVE seen, over the past few years, quite a few red-tailed hawks.... before a few years ago, I had never seen one of them, either.

You need to learn some owl hoots and give them a call. Screech owls love to nest in boxes, plenty of free plans available. They even winter in the boxes if they're in their wintering range. The great horned owls are already nesting here Virginia.

Tom Montgomery
01-10-2014, 12:12 PM
Louisville’s rescued snowy owl died the other day.


Seventeen days after being rescued from a busy freeway ramp, emaciated and far from home, things were looking very good for the snowy owl that had become something of a celebrity.

The bird so rare to these parts had gained a lot of weight and was getting more spirited.

On Sunday, volunteers at Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky had just given the arctic dweller a mouse. It jumped on the rodent, and ate it immediately — but 10 minutes later the owl was dead.

“It was that fast,” said Eileen Wicker, director of Raptor Rehab. “We are just beside ourselves.”

Wicker said she took the dead snowy owl to Pets Plus Veterinary Care Center in Fern Creek where Dr. Robin Sheldon performed a necropsy Monday to determine the cause of death — a burst carotid artery.

Sheldon, who has donated services to Raptor Rehab for more than 20 years, also determined the owl was a female.

“This bird was in pretty good shape,” Sheldon said. She had been getting good care and was expected to fully recover, she said. “I had expected (the owl) to be released. But stuff just happens sometimes.”

The owl was among the many snowy owls migrating south from their Arctic home that have come to the Midwest and Northeast in large numbers, a result of fluctuating food and population cycles. Birders have reported a few Kentucky sightings.

She was rescued by volunteer Lauren Young, who spotted her on Dec. 27 on the ramp at Westport Road and the Gene Snyder Freeway, and volunteer Sally Seyal, who helped capture the owl.

“Although we are sad, there are several good things that came out of this,” Wicker said.

If the owl had not been rescued, “she would have starved or died anyway, been hit by a car, and her body would’ve been torn apart by vultures or dogs. Instead, she died a peaceful death with us, in a safe place with plenty to eat.”

Wicker said the owl also helped raise public awareness of the work of Raptor Rehab, a Louisville nonprofit group, and “these magnificent birds. It was an educational opportunity for many and a better ending for her than she would have had in the wild.”

In all, the group cared for 266 raptors in 2013, Seyal said. “Our release rate has been around 62 percent of all admissions, and there are a few others that are not releasable but can be placed for education purposes,” she said.

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014301070066

purri
01-11-2014, 03:06 AM
If it was TSA then to Gitmo no doubt
They relocated one yesterday at BWI airport, south of Baltimore.

slug
01-11-2014, 03:23 AM
Owls...when they migrate i come across them at sea.

a few years ago on a cold gray dawn watch , a bird flew so close to my foul weather gear hooded head that i could feel its wingbeat

DAM SEAGULL !! I watched the bird circle the boat, glide back in then land on the end of the boom.

it was an owl. It Perched on the boom for a hour or so to catch its breath then took off to the horizon.

LongIslandBoy
01-11-2014, 10:28 AM
Here is a link to a map of dynamic sighting of the snowy owl (or any other bird)....keep zooming in until you see "red balloons" - then click on a balloon for date, #'s and other specifics:

http://ebird.org/ebird/map/snoowl1?bmo=1&emo=12&byr=2010&eyr=2014

Was Hannibal referring to the FDA's Plum Island between Ct and Long Island, or the Mass. Plum Island?

I'm pretty certain it was the animal diseases research facility on Plum Island , N.Y., just east of Orient Point.

Eddiebou
01-12-2014, 08:37 AM
About 2 years ago, I ducked behind the garden shed to answer the call of nature. I glanced up to see one of these owls about 5 feet away, perched in a small tree. He didn't pay any attention to me whatsoever. Over the next week, I saw him several times near my home. I would see him while I was driving home from work, perched in a tree, or on top of a telephone pole or cruising across the field. I was really upset when I found him dead in the driveway of the church next door. He probably swooped down to catch a mouse crossing the road in someone's headlights and got clobbered. I liked that owl.

elf
01-12-2014, 09:22 PM
Went searching again today. Here's my report:

Still no snowys, but one large and heavy rusted shovel, about 50 or 60 beer cans, a large wet cardboard carton, a pizza box, 4 bright colored plastic childrens' beach toy shovels, 3 or 4 soda and water bottles and a car with 3 young men getting stoned in it. I left the car and young men but gathered the rest into plastic grocery store bags and bought it all home for sorting, returning and recycling.