Wednesday 11 December 2013

Snowy Owl invasion

Everyone probably knows about the Snowy Owl invasion we are currently experiencing in Eastern North America. It filled an entire page in The Telegram (local newspaper), has been on CBC news a few times, and I've been approached by several non-birding friends & strangers asking me where they can see them!

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about aging Snowy Owls on the internet, no surprise there. From what I can gather, one can only confidently ID very white birds as adult males, and very dark birds as young females. Everything in between could go either way in terms of aging/sexing.

Despite seeing 125 Snowy Owls on Saturday, I didn't see any that lacked any noticeable barring. Which is a good indication that there are very few or no adults around. However, there was considerable variation in the birds we saw.

Instead of ordering the photos chronologically, I decided to try to order them from darkest to lightest. Just click on the first image so that it fills the screen and then you can scroll from image to image.

All, except 3 of these photos, are of different owls.

Same bird as previous one:

Same bird as previous one:

Same as previous one:


Some group shots:

This bird was at the very tip of Cape Race:

Snowy Owls weren't the only white dots on the barrens, we saw over 50 Caribou that day:

This tame female kingfisher was at Quidi Vidi recently:

Cape Spear just before sunset: