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Old 02-07-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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Very odd, they are hatching in bigger numbers than ever yet migrating as if they have a food supply problem.

Snowy-Owl Migration to US One of Biggest on Record | LiveScience
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:09 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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There move is probably a wise one.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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There are always lots of Snowy owls in Northern Michigan, the lower St. Lawrence, I've even seen them in Massachusetts and Milwaukee harbor, and even one in Kansas City many years ago. I saw about ten in one day on an island in Lake Ontario.

Several factors come into play in "invasion years". Their prey, small rodents, have cyclical peaks and valleys in their wintering populations. When there are low numbers of them (which can be predicted), arctic and boreal owls move further south for food. Or, a severe winter in the north can drive owls further south.

They are easy to observe, for reasons. They like to just sit out in the open, which is all there is in their arctic habitat. They do not recognize humans as a dangerous enemy, because humans are not present in their usual range, and you can walk up within a few feet of them. And, they are daytime owls, because where they live. for several months it never gets dark.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There are always lots of Snowy owls in Northern Michigan, the lower St. Lawrence, I've even seen them in Massachusetts and Milwaukee harbor, and even one in Kansas City many years ago. I saw about ten in one day on an island in Lake Ontario.

Several factors come into play in "invasion years". Their prey, small rodents, have cyclical peaks and valleys in their wintering populations. When there are low numbers of them (which can be predicted), arctic and boreal owls move further south for food. Or, a severe winter in the north can drive owls further south.

They are easy to observe, for reasons. They like to just sit out in the open, which is all there is in their arctic habitat. They do not recognize humans as a dangerous enemy, because humans are not present in their usual range, and you can walk up within a few feet of them. And, they are daytime owls, because where they live. for several months it never gets dark.
It doesn't sound all that unusual in that respect... Predator boom follows prey explosion... Prey depletion follows predator explosion... Artic owl invasion results.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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A few years ago, during a very bitter winter in NE Ohio, my husband witnessed a snowy owl swoop down and snatch a red squirrel, right in front of our kitchen window. He couldn't believe his eyes it happened so fast. That is what made us do some research about snowy owls, and we learned they sometimes come down from the arctic tundra when food is scarce. They are so beautiful. I just love owls.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
A few years ago, during a very bitter winter in NE Ohio, my husband witnessed a snowy owl swoop down and snatch a red squirrel, right in front of our kitchen window. He couldn't believe his eyes it happened so fast. That is what made us do some research about snowy owls, and we learned they sometimes come down from the arctic tundra when food is scarce. They are so beautiful. I just love owls.
I've been fascinated by raptors since I saw something similar with a red tailed hawk as a boy. It really makes a memory.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:42 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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Sitting on a tractor back in the day in the middle of nowhere Eastern Colorado I saw this blip of white in the next field. All I had was the scope on my carry gun but sure enough...one of those owls. Amazing. Kind of hard to miss a white spot in a field of dirt.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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I'm surprised the author of the article used the word "migration" without explaining that it does not meet the definition of migration for bird movements. Migration is a regular, mass movement every year of an entire population between breeding and wintering grounds, going to the same place every year. Some individuals of nearly every species of birds will expand their usual range in some years, according to conditions, with some individuals wandering afar to find better food sources. This is not "migration".
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