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Previously unpublished Snowy Owl photograph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