“…while they might have been looking for the avian equivalent of a zebra, they had happened on a unicorn.”
— New York Times
One doesn’t have to be a birder to get excited over the prospect of seeing a snowy owl. Ever since reading about a nearby sighting, we’ve been on the look-out for them, and finally caught sight of one blending in with the snow-covered rocks and placidly taking in the evening’s sunset. This year’s migration pattern has been newsworthy for its range and number, and though this particular owl has since moved on, we still hope to catch glimpse of another. From The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America:
Uncommon to rare and irregular. Nests on open tundra. Winters in open fields or marshes, where it perches on the ground or fence posts even in daylight. More active at night, hunting small rodents and birds. Solitary. One of our largest owls and relatively sleek. Mostly white in all plumages; face and underwing coverts always pure white…. Song a deep, muffled, repeated hoot brooo. Call a high, drawn-out scream.
If you’re not sure what a repeated hoot brooo or high, drawn-out owl scream is supposed to sound like, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has audio clips >