We were fortunate; there were two of them at the airport yesterday. One was at the end of South road in Bedford and the other was on the tarmac, under the wing of a Cessna. It was parked on the first row of aircraft that is next to the runway. Both owls were a little far for a good picture from my cameras but the one on south road was looking real nice through the spotting scope. For Helene, this was a first time ever seeing a snowy owl.
They're all white, with a round head. Their feathers help them blend into a snow-covered landscape. Their toes and claws are thickly covered with feathers. Their dark colored bills are short and strong and sharply pointed.
They have been showing up to hunt in windswept coastal fields and dunes on their migration south. They spend summers far north of the Arctic Circle and hunt prey in 24-hour daylight. Unlike most other owl species, snowy owls hunt mainly in the daytime. They are highly nomadic and their movements are tied to the abundance of their primary prey species.
If you are interested in seeing if any of those rare birds are around. You can check out the American Bird Association web site and click on the state your interested in. We are casual birders but find this site is a great way for us to keep updated as to what's flying around.
This is the time of year when they have migrated south and there should be plenty of opportunities to see this stunning bird. Keep your camera ready.
Photo courtesy of Magnus Manske