Monday, February 22, 2010

Snowy Owls near Madison?


Previously unpublished Snowy Owl photograph

I'm aware of at least two reports of Snowy Owls in the Randolph area between Madison and Green Lake. Posted third-hand by a Wisconsin Birding Network user, the first sighting I heard about was from a teacher who reported seeing 6 of them during a recent drive from Berlin to Madison. (Yes, that is a pretty remarkable number and I'm somewhat skeptical). However, this morning I learned of another report, reliable but second-hand from a friend, who recently observed 2 Snowy Owls in this same general area during a commute to work. Over the weekend, three (or more) groups birders searched the area but failed to find the owls. A tip? The best time to check may be before sunrise or after sunset, as it's been my experience that snowies generally roost during the day.  With the present snow cover, finding them during daylight hours may constitute an exercise in futility.

Snowy Owl © 2010 Mike McDowell

7 comments:

  1. Is there a more magnificently gorgeous creature on the planet?!!

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  2. Mike, I'm quite confused. My reference says that Snowy Owls are diurnal and hunt from dawn to dusk. But around here they roost during the day? Help me out here.

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  3. BNA states:

    Daily Time Budget: No information, but such studies highly desirable.

    From my personal experience, which is limited to Snowy Owls on wintering grounds, they generally roost during the day and hunt at night.

    Mike M.

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  4. Disappointed that you would drive this far to see a bird. I hope you understand how this kind of behavior is what contributes to the destruction of these same birds.

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  5. Anonymous,

    And I'm disappointed you didn't have enough backbone to add your name to that bit of criticism. Honestly, I can't tell if you're being serious or just poking a little fun at me because of my "no chasing" policy. If you're a longtime reader of this blog, you should know my thoughts on this subject. I had my reasons to break with my policy and needn't ask my readers for their approval. However, to rectify it in my own way, I'll match whatever dollar amount you want to the conservation group of your choice.

    Cheers,

    Mike M.

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