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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Audubon: Snowy Owl back in Connecticut


Audubon Connecticut says in a release that its "Winter Bird Forecast suggests that once again, the Snowy Owl is returning to Connecticut and several states along the Atlantic Flyway."
 
The Snowy Owl is "one of the most spectacular and charismatic birds of the northern hemisphere," and "are seen most often in wide open spaces such as fields, farmland and coastal areas. In some years, after summer nesting in the Arctic, they come south in winter to find more abundant food sources," the release said. 

"Last winter, dozens of Snowy Owls were sighted in Connecticut. The numbers this year are slightly behind last winter but they are still higher than a typical year." 

“If you see a Snowy Owl, consider yourself fortunate,” Patrick Comins, director of bird conservation for Audubon Connecticut said, also in the release. Take a long look, but give it space. They are used to living in the Arctic region and they generally have little contact with humans. Identifying them is pretty straightforward. Adult males are almost entirely white. Immature and female Snowy Owls can have dark bars alternating with white on their breast and back with a face that is entirely white. They can weigh four to six pounds and have a wing span of up to six feet.”
 
Photographs and short video files of the Snowy Owl can be found at the Audubon Connecticut web site:http://audubonct.org, the release said.
 
Also in the release:
"The return of the Snowy Owl coincides with Audubon Connecticut’s winter bird count http://http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count) - known since 1900 as the Christmas Bird Count - which runs through January 5th. The count began 115 years ago as an alternative to Christmas Day bird hunts that were threatening bird populations. Other popular bird species seen in Connecticut at this time of year include: Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Snow Bunting, Bufflehead, Long-tailed Ducks and additional species of waterfowl." 

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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