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Snowy Owl Snooze

Posted on Dec 19, 2017

We were lucky enough to have a Snowy Owl stop by Stratford Point today for a snooze! There have been several in the surrounding Stratford/Milford area for a few weeks, though they have stopped on the property only a couple of occasions during that time.

On such a beautiful day many people were out and about walking and not realizing the owl was trying to take a nap on the brush pile directly along our trail. I tried to redirect folks as I could (without trying to flush it myself by shouting over or walking down that same trail). The photos here are cropped from 500mm, and even then I was closer than I would have liked simply to try to keep a number of people from coming up on it on the opposite side. Thankfully most of our visitors were very happy to see the owl and did all they could to make sure they gave it space. It can be difficult for the owls to find a quiet place to rest. Unfortunately the pressure became too much with someone walking on the beach, and two dogs being walked up behind it despite being asked to give it space, and the owl flew off out of sight.

Remember that you are welcome at Stratford Point whenever the gate is open. Audubon Connecticut manages DuPont’s Stratford Point property with assistance from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) and Sacred Heart University. The trails are generally open Monday-Friday during business hours. We try to open on weekends as we can. Birding, nature observation, and passive hiking are the primary intended uses of the property. It is private property with a conservation easement held by the State of Connecticut, and having a dog off leash violates this agreement. If we ask you to please give space to our wonderful avian visitors we hope that you will do so. We want everyone – wildlife and humans – to be welcome on site, but those who do not respect nature, the posted rules, or staff, or leave litter, climb fences, destroy property, or otherwise break the law will not be welcome. Thank you for understanding.

And if you’re a birder, photographer, or just love to spot the owls, please stay back at a safe distance so that they do not even acknowledge your presence. Remember that being slow, quiet, and staying together tightly in one group – not surrounding it from multiple sides and spreading out – is the way to go.

Scott Kruitbosch
RTPI Conservation & Outreach Coordinator