Tag Archive | snowy owls

Wednesday Wings: More Snowies!

Snowy Owls photographed north of Strathmore in early January by Rob English.

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Awesome Snowies!

Jim Walling has sent us some truly outstanding Snowy Owl photographs. The rest of us can only hope to ever get shots like these!

Male Snowy Owls are almost pure white.

Females and juveniles have the dark bars and spots, with the heaviest markings on immature birds.

According to Lillian Stokes, “this is a clear Snowy Owl irruption year, although not for the usual reason of their food source, lemmings, having a population crash. There were an abundance of lemmings during this breeding season, leading to now an abundance of young Snowy Owls who cannot compete with adults for food on their wintering grounds, so these owls head south.”

They have been recorded as far south as Kansas and Missouri this winter, and birders in the Calgary area are putting in many hours on country roads to join in the Snowy Owl bonanza. Our Snowy Owl Sightings page is currently the most popular one on the blog, and it’s updated with each reported sighting.

Posted by Pat Bumstead

Snowy Owl Sightings

Snowy Owl from Wikipedia

Snowy owls are one of the best things about a southern Alberta winter. These beautiful birds escape the harsh Arctic winter, and travel south to the grasslands of Canada and the northern USA. From the time the first one is reported, the country roads around Calgary are very popular with birders.

The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark bars and spots, which are darkest on immature birds.

To make it easier for owl spotting, we’ve added a page to the blog titled Snowy Owls 2011. We’ll be updating this on a regular basis, as soon as snowy sightings are reported on Alberta Bird. By keeping a running list of locations, it’s easier to plan your drive, and increase your chances of a sighting.

If you’re not signed up for Alberta Bird and find a snowy owl, please leave the location in the comments below, and we’ll add it to the list.

Posted by Pat Bumstead