Monday, December 26, 2005

Invasion of the vole snatchers

Some birding moments you’ll just never forget. My first close-up look at a Great Gray Owl last year was one such experience. Driving down Moccasin Mike Road near Wisconsin Point at dusk, Jesse Peterson, Jason Sailing and I had just finished checking for gulls at the landfill…and then it happened. A large bird flew from the ground up to a tree about 20 feet from the road. The three of us erupted “Great Gray Owl!” We watched the big owl hunt, eat and move from tree to tree…it was so incredible.

Below is a link to an on-line article about the 2004/2005 owl irruption written by Susan Foote-Martin from the December issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.
Susan writes...

"The owls of winter gave many people an unusual chance to connect to nature on their own terms, face-to-face and eye-to-eye. These owls have relatively little contact with people and are consequently unfazed by human contact. Thousands of people saw great gray and northern hawk owls for the first time in their lives at very close range. Schoolchildren to grandmothers called us, e-mailed and sent handwritten notes describing their experiences. It was clear that they had found something special and they wanted to share it."


Link: Read Susan’s entire story from WI DNR

Great Gray Owl © 2005 Michael McDowell

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