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Snowy Owl Eyes

Posted on Jan 15, 2016

The Snowy Owl currently delighting the Connecticut shoreline stopped by Stratford Point again today, and I took a few minutes to take some shots of our friend. This bird first visited us 11 days ago, and it has made the lighthouse its home at times. Today it was sitting on the tip of the bluff as it was during its initial visit, and I was able to get some closer photos. These were taken at 500mm and are extremely cropped.

Snowy Owl Stratford Point January 15 2016-5120

Snowy Owl Stratford Point January 15 2016-5193

I have plenty of photos with its eyes mostly shut, and my point is that the bird was not alarmed by our presence – I just chose to share the shots showing its breathtaking eyes. You will also note it is in a comfortable position, not stretching its neck out, hunched forward, or widening its eyes more than normal. It was fine with where I was and gave me an occasional glance, staring more at passing gulls and airplanes. When a bird notices you that is the limit, and not pushing this limit I took these and retreated.

Snowy Owl Stratford Point January 15 2016-5275

Snowy Owl Stratford Point January 15 2016-5301

It subsequently remained on the bluff for others to come enjoy this morning. While I was in our offices it apparently flew around a couple more times (it likes to move a few dozen feet occasionally), and eventually landed on neighboring homes. It went to the lighthouse and then off the site, probably not too far around the corner, mimicking almost the exact behavior it showed here the first day it visited. We have a talent for keeping Snowy Owls around the Stratford Point area after years of hosting them here, and so far this winter it seems we have pleased our friend. Good hunting to it, and good birding to you this weekend.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator