12 December, 2013

Snowy Owl

Scientific Name: Nyctea scandiaca

Population Estimate: Unknown but Least Concern status. Not globally threatened, but uncommon to scarce.

Range / Habitat: Summers in open Arctic tundra from near tree-line to edge of polar seas. Winter irruptions to lower latitudes were found in marshes and dunes.

Field Notes: Large white owl with small yellow eyes, rudimentary ear-tufts normally invisible. Male entirely white, female and juveniles with brown barring above and below.

Personal Notes: A bird that eluded us for over four years. Finally on a winter walk in Acadia National Park (during a extensive East Coast irruption year, after we looked unsuccessfully the weekend before) I said "wouldn't it be funny if that log were a Snowy Owl….." Thankfully, Richard thought to actually look through the binoculars!

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