December 11, 2013

Snowy days

Snowy owls show up each winter in varying amounts, from tons to none. Depending on some elegant curve of lemming populations, mean temperatures, and good luck these owls "irrupt" from the great white north downwards into the lower 48. In 2011 we saw many of them across the country but not a lot here in New England. 2012 was a quiet year for the "ermine owl," with only scattered records from barrier beaches like Duxbury, MA and Salisbury, NH. Weighing a mere 3-4 lbs, these birds sit around two feet high. Fiercely white they would more likely be confused for a Clorox bleach bottle washed ashore than any gull. But they're size is formidable and they can easily kill ducks and geese as well as Boeing 747s

To find a snowy owl go to your local tundra: long beaches, airports, or large farm fields. Or for warmer views visit

Nov - Dec 2012

Nov - Dec 11th 2013

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is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact:

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