Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snowy Owls at the Bar Harbor Airport

We've had an unusual influx of snowy owls here in Maine, and there are five who have settled in at the local airport. I was lucky enough to see three of them today (but only two were close enough to photograph.) The owls are huge. The one on the telephone pole was probably twenty feet away from me (and not at all fazed by the five or six paparazzi snapping photos), and I would guess it to be a good two feet tall. The wingspan of the one below must have been four feet. They are an arctic species who usually nest on the ground in the tundra, and what I've been told is that their main prey species (lemmings? or voles? some sort of small rodent) is prone to population spikes and crashes. When the prey population crashes, the owls come south looking for food. And here they are - hello there, Hedwig!

P.S. I'm testing a larger type size - what do you think? More readable, or too big?


  1. They're gorgeous! Lucky you to see them so close! Last year, before we moved to Montana, a group of them hung out in a town south of here all winter, something unusual I'm told. Wish they were around this year. I like the larger type size on your blog!

    1. They are unusual around here, too. Normally, people only see them on the mountaintops, and even that's rare. Being able to drive up to one is unheard of! One of my friends saw one in downtown Bar Harbor about 30 years ago, so perhaps that's the length of the cycle.

  2. What beautiful birds. Thanks for sharing.
    I like the larger font!