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Snowy Owl eBird Map 12-08-15

Posted on Dec 8, 2015

I heard that some people around these parts like Snowy Owls, huh? Where are the birds now? Well, here is where they were from October 1 through this morning on December 8 thanks to eBird, with all of the orange markers being sightings in the last 30 days. From glancing through individual sightings they seem to be hugging the coastlines so far from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, and while this is typical, it seems to be the case a little more than usual. Snowys are in the fields, farms and grasslands more to the west in other areas of the upper Midwest and Great Plains. I would imagine that the warm weather and lack of snow for the Northeast is helping to keep them to the north to some degree. Yes, the birds are driven by population size and abundance from the last breeding season as well as changes in prey, but it is easier to feed in some areas that lack ice and snow meaning the flight south may not be necessary…yet. Additionally, many Snowy Owls feed on ducks, especially at night. As I have been detailing many of our waterfowl species are lingering further north for the same temperature reasons. It can be a difficult mystery to unravel because there are so many different facets to our environment, and the wildlife that live in it are all interconnected in a multitude of ways.

Snowy Owl map eBird Oct-Dec 2015 Dec 8

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator