Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Even Here in the NC Mountains

Many of you know that there is an almost unprecedented irruption of Snowy Owls this year.  All along the Great Lakes area and New England the Snowy Owls are everywhere.  They are most often seen in areas that look similar to the tundra, including sandy coasts and airports.  This year the Snowy Owls have traveled much further south than usual.

In fact, there have been several sightings right here in Transylvania county.  Birders from across the south-east have come here for a chance to see one of these birds, a lifer for many.

 This one first seen on December 7
Photo by M Simpson

And this one on December 8
Photo by D. Womack

And this one also on December 8
Photo by J Griggs

And this one on December 9
Photo by W. Thomas

So Hedwig and his brothers have been sighted multiple times but so far no one has seen Harry.

Last week New York officials shot and killed three Snowy Owls at JFK Airport.  After a massive protest by the birding world, they wisely decided to trap and relocate them instead.

To see a map of the Snowy Owl irruption click here.  You will note that a Snowy Owl has been spotted even in Burmuda.


KB said...

That is really cool. I hope that you see a snowy owl in person (and get a photo!). I wish they'd come to Colorado. It looks like tundra here with all the snow.

Ms. A said...

How horrible that they killed them! Glad the birding world protested and got them to rethink that strategy.

kks said...

beautiful !!
hope you are well!

Carolina Linthead said...

Hedwig! Beautiful! We have some nice snow in central OH, if they want to come play...

Tara said...

beautiful birds. Any explanation about their unprecedented presence?

Carolina Linthead said...

Some good info at eBird.

Heaven knows we've got rodents in OH...many of whom hold elected office, lol.

troutbirder said...

Most interesting. I noticed several sightings on my MOU listserv this morning and wondered about a possible irruption this year. Then I checked your blog..... voila! This subject casts my mind back several years to my capturing an injured and starving snowy which the Minnesota Raptor Center at the U. was unable to save.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard about the snowy owl irruption, such a beautiful sight. I hope you get to see one.

I am glad to know there was a protest after the shootings. How tragic that three were killed like that.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

KB - I look in all the fields as I drive around. But there are so many people going to the areas of the sightings that I'll be content to look at their photographs.

Linthead - Thanks, I have been following eBird.

Troutbirder - At least one injured Snowy has been captured here and is expected to recover. What a thrill for you to see one so up close and personal.

Busy Bee Suz said...

One of the most gorgeous creatures ever…love them. Of course, I also thought of Harry Potter and friends. :)
What the heck is wrong with those idiots at JFK???

Lise said...

Such a beautiful bird, I haven't seen any here in Western NC...and don't see them on the map you provided. I sure hope they come this way, would love to see them!