Monday, December 26, 2011

Snowy Owls on Christmas Day

Three more Snowy Owls (Nictea scandiaca) yesterday.  I hope they are finding enough food.   We always have a few Snowys down here in the Winter.  Delightful to see always, but not uncommon.  This year, there are so many and many reports of Snowys far South of the normal range.  Unfortunately, many are likely verging on starvation.   

Too bad it isn't quite warm enough to bring the gophers (Richardson's Ground Squirrels, Urocitellus richardsonii) out of hibernation - we have a lot of them...

Nice day, for December 25th, with +4C air temperature, high thick cloud and a fairly stiff breeze.

All these photos are the same individual.  It fence-post hopped as I tagged along behind in my car, hoping to get a decent shot of two....everything is a little fuzzy.  2012 Resolution #2, work on my photography skills.

Now, then, is this a female or is it a 1st year male?  The males become whiter as they age, with the very whitest being older males.

It was quite a large bird.  I'm tending to think Adult Female.  The females are larger than the males - as is the case with other owl species.

Other birds found during my drive around yesterday include:
1 male Gadwall at the city sewer lagoons.  Also at the lagoons, a Northern Pintail drake and a Green-winged Teal (either a female or a juvenile).  

At Boundary reservoir, 5 Ring-necked Ducks, several American Coots, a pair of Hooded Mergansers (male displaying), thousands of Mallards and Canada Geese.  

I saw a few Cackling Geese mixed with the larger Canadas  when scanning flocks feeding. 


  1. Lovely owls, have to show Henry the "nmals" when he wakes up.

  2. I love the Snowy owls, they are just beautiful. I hope they are all finding food. Your photos are wonderful.

  3. Thank You, AnonyHolly, CarolNH & Eileen.