Snowy Owl in VT

Denis —


Heard the story below on As It Happens, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. telephone interview show that WAMU broadcasts at 11:05.

Birders welcome more snowy owls to Atlantic Canada but it may not be good news for the birds

Monday, December 9, 2013 | Categories: Features 0


Alain ClavetteAlain Clavette


Birders in Atlantic Canada are racking up an unusually high number of snowy owl sightings. The birds are beautiful to see but they may not have long to live. They come from the Arctic, so they’ll have to find different food sources further south, plus they’ll be competing for resources with other birds.

Alain Clavette could see one owl through his telescope when we reached him in Shediac, New Brunswick. He’s on Twitter @Acadian_Birder. Listen to the avid bird watcher here:

This massive (continent-wide) migration of the Snowy Owls is said to be due to a collapse in the lemming population, which is a major food source. These kind of “ad hoc” migrations are not rare, and can also affect other species such as grosbeaks a few years ago when a pine cone crop failed. The phenomenon is called an irruption.

The scarier part of the story — about which I have seen no speculation yet — is that this is the second Snowy irruption in the past two or three years — last time (I think) I recall it was because some mice or moles or some such had had a die-off.

thanks again for the story / / /


On Dec 10, 2013, at 12:52 PM, Denis Bogan <denis_bogan> wrote:

Thought you guys might be interested in this, copied from the SkiVT list,


Yes, cool -- hard to mistake the Snowy. Most of the individuals that make it this far south are tracked (by casual birders and professionals), and they usually show up here (on this other UVM list-serv type dealie-o): jdbonin> wrote: > >> I've mis-identified birds before so I will just report what I saw and you >> can make your own decision: >> Sunday morning, while I was entering the medical building, a huge white >> bird flew over the access road and landed on the ground, across the street >> from me. My first thought was: "that seagull is huge." My second thought >> was: "what is a seagull doing at Killington?" >> As I was looking at it, it turned it's head and stared directly at me with >> piercing yellow eyes. It's head was very large and it's neck was wide and >> bulky. It looked like an owl, but it was completely white. >> After staring me down for a few seconds, it took flight and perched on the >> top of the Ramshead lodge for a while. >> I hope that it takes up residence. Maybe I can get a picture. >> >> -- >> *John Bonin* >> 


About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands and the Chesapeake Bay; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see President of the now-sunsetting Island Resources Foundation.
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