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Friday, December 20, 2013

Snowy Owl Camouflage

With hundreds of sightings of these magnificent birds throughout the northeast this season, you might be wondering, "why haven't I seen a Snowy Owl yet?"  That's exactly what I was thinking about as I spent hours upon hours searching for these visitors from the north.  After finally seeing my first of the year near the Berlin Airport, I understood why.

It may seem counter-intuitive that such a large, conspicuous bird could be hard to find, but the picture below illustrates well how they can blend into their winter surroundings.  Can you see the Snowy Owl?

Can you spot the Snowy Owl in this photo?
Watch the video below to reveal it's location.

If you're having trouble spotting it, so to did a group of NBNC staffers, all experienced birder watchers.  And the owl was only about 100 feet from us!  If you look carefully in the above image, you can actually see one of it's eyes, staring squintily back at you.  It wasn't until the bird moved that it's location became clear.  Check it out in the video below:

While they often perch in conspicuous locations such as rooftops, telephone poles, fence posts, and hay bails, they can disappear in an instant into a snowy field.  So to all you folks out there still waiting for your first Snowy Owl of the season, be persistent... it may be right under your nose!

p.s.  After it flew, we got a better look at the bird out in the open.  A gorgeous sight to behold!

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