The Snowy Owl Scoop
Breaking news on the migration of Snowy Owls across North America
Summary Report – Friday, January 24, 2020
Snowy Owls continue to occupy a swath of winter territory stretching from New Jersey to Alberta — in a pattern that hasn’t changed much since early December. The distribution is fairly typical, except for one ongoing oddity: very few Snowy Owl sightings from inland New England and adjacent states. Notable exceptions include owls in downtown Burlington, Vermont, and Albany, New York, each on January 5.
To be sure, Snowy Owls like to be near water when they come south in winter, where they sometimes hunt wintering sea ducks and alcids (even fish on occasion). The Northeastern U.S. coastline and the St. Lawrence River Valley, as usual, are attracting the most owl sightings. The distribution is more scattered from Ontario northwestward into Alberta. The overall pattern reflects birder preference for coastal and shoreline sites in winter. But the near absence of owl sightings inland is a bit unusual, and I don’t expect it to change much through the winter.
The Map link below includes Snowy Owls reported to eBird since January 1. The Sightings link features a list of Snowy Owl reports during the past seven days only in the lower 48 states, including “unconfirmed” records not yet on the eBird map.
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A live map of Snowy Owl sightings reported to eBird since January 1, 2020. These sightings come from birders and other folks who've found owls.
Sightings reported to eBird in the "lower 48" during the past week. Each sighting on the list includes a map link and the full eBird report.
Owls and Us
Our enjoyment of wildlife calls for responsibility and respect. Here's advice on Snowy Owl etiquette from the good folks at Project SNOWStorm.
The Snow Goose Scoop
A snowstorm of a different kind: up-to-date reports on the migration of Snow Geese through the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York.