Snowy Owls Arrive

November 13, 2017  |  by Bryan  |  10 comments

Snowy Owl in East Montpelier in April of 2014 / © Bryan Pfeiffer

AS I HAD PREDICTED on Friday (in my Snowy Owl Alert), the Arctic came visiting this past weekend. Snowy Owls turned up in good numbers from the Northeast to the Midwest.

Update – November 19: For “complete coverage” of Snowy Owl migration this fall, visit my brand new Snowy Owl Scoop.

I’m not sure we had expected a big “irruptive” year for Snowy Owls. And we normally see owls on the move in mid November. In any event, I’m expecting more reports as birders get outside this weekend.

For my Vermont readers, at least two Snowy Owls are being seen with some regularity: one at the Vermont Technical College farm in Randolph Center and another on the Colchester Causeway out on Lake Champlain. Eddy Edwards found a third Vermont Snowy, at Maquam Bay, west of Swanton, on November 15.

Here’s an eBird map of all Snowy Owl sightings since November 1.

While birding on the Maine coast, my pal Josh Lincoln and I encountered two Snowy Owls last weekend: one on Saturday on Beach Island in Biddeford (scoped from Ocean Avenue) and another (chased off by a mob of American Crows) at Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth on Sunday. (We didn’t get close photos, which is why you’re seeing, above, a Snowy Owl from East Montpelier in 2014.)

Below is Josh (and my vacated scope) at Dyer Point at dawn on Sunday. The seabird watching was great; more on that in another post this week. And below Josh is his photo of the Snowy Out on Beach Island — a classic November scene.

10 comments
  1. Evelyn Barber says:

    Just saw a snowy owl in a tree beside Lake Memphremagog on Lake Road in Newport Center, VT. An awesome sight.

  2. Sue says:

    My 10 year old son spotted a female on top of Bed Bath and Beyond in Williston yesterday at around 4:00 pm. Got a couple more of phone pictures. Beautiful!

  3. Leslie Nelson says:

    I had a sighting this morning at about 9a as I was walking to work along Pine St. It was sitting in the snow so I was pretty startled when it moved toward me. It seemed like we startled each other and for a moment the owl was right in front of me about arms length starring right at me. In the next moment it lifted off and flew low, about knee level and continued to fly low. It seemed to have landed a couple of buildings away. It was amazing.

  4. Kevin Meffe says:

    Sunday morning, Dec. 10, 2017.

    My wife saw one in downtown Burlington, VT.

    It was chasing squirrels on College St.

  5. Barbara says:

    very nice!!

  6. Cindy says:

    Just what you needed, Bryan, and us too!

  7. Peter says:

    So glad to see you out birding.

  8. Ruth says:

    And the sun rise was spectacular too!

  9. judy says:

    Wonderful!!!! Hoping this will be the year to see my first!