Snowy Owls in Wisconsin

The day was absolutely gorgeous with clear blue skies and stunning pastoral landscapes making it a perfect day to drive around on a hunt for the ever elusive Snowy Owl. I was beginning to get nervous that the winter season was slowly coming to an end and that I would miss the irruption of Snowy Owls that have invaded the United States this year, Wisconsin in particular. The number of Snowy Owls this year has been unprecedented with an almost 150 individual owls reported.

Owls have a soft spot in my heart so any time I get to see one it’s a huge deal. Today was apparently the day that my friend and I were to be blessed with our very own Snowy Owl sighting. We were thinking it was the bird’s birthday gift to my friend who is going to be celebrating her birthday this Wednesday. Whatever the reason an absolutely beautiful (what appears to be) female Snowy Owl flew from one farm silo to another which alerted us to her presence. The site of that wingspan was something to behold. She then proceeded to perch upon another silo affording us a wonderful prolonged viewing. Our car was not the only one that found her – very quickly after she flew a convoy of other bird enthusiasts appeared to take in the view.

Needless to say my friend and I freaked out after we confirmed that it was indeed a Snowy Owl and proceeded to geek out in the car over our excitement. We were close enough to be able to get photographic evidence of our new lifelist addition despite the biting wind and not wanting to trespass on private farmland.

I’m so glad I was able to capture this and experience this bird in person before they head back up north to their normal Arctic stomping grounds. Hopefully this individual is finding enough food and will have a long healthy life ahead of it.

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Snowy Owls – Maybe Someday on My Lifelist

There have been multiple sightings now of a few Snowy Owls (relatively) near where I am located. Since this species doesn’t often come this far south I always get excited that maybe THIS will be the year I finally add a Snowy Owl to my lifelist. So far I haven’t gotten lucky but I am going to keep trying.

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Photo courtesy of Alex Lehner of what looks to be a Snowy Owl male. You will be mine someday and I will take awesome pictures of you too!

Read about the predicted irruption of Snowy Owls this season on ebird.org here.