Frosty Morning Snowy Owl
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This sleepy-eyed snowy owl was perched on an old wooden granary beside the highway yesterday morning.
A special "Thank You" to Andrea Peterson for the nomination!! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness, Andrea. This was such an exciting capture for me..
Andrea shared the following newspaper article with me and I'd like to share it with you:
"It is typical of owls to arrive in the US every three or four winters, but this year irruption is widespread, with birders from the Pacific Northwest to New England reporting frequent sightings of the yellow-eyed birds. As many as 30 were spotted in December around South Dakota's Lake Andes.
The arrival of the birds, which can top 2 feet in height with a wingspan of nearly 5 feet is the result of a plentiful population of Arctic lemmings this summer, which led to a strong breeding season, said Denver Holt, director of the Owl Research Insitute in Charlo, Montana.
Lemmings are Snowy Owls' main food source, and the baby boom is sending many youngsters across the border to scrounge for voles, field mice, rats, rabbits and shore birds.
There is no good estimate on the size of their population. A study in which researchers working on a Canadian island found thousands of Snowy Owls one year, only to follow up the next year to find not a single one."
Also by Heather Mellon
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