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Thread: The Hunt for Snowy Owls

  1. #1
    SJ's Avatar
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    The Hunt for Snowy Owls

    I've been out east for Christmas and New Year's, and there has been a Snowy Owl eruption (their words, not mine) out here due to the loss of their usual diet of lemmings north of us.

    Laura has been on a quest to find one and we have been out several times with no joy. Today we saw two, one right near our car after walking two miles of beach, and the other just off of busy highway 95 in New Haven. Laura got a few good shots... here is the one in New Haven.

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    There have been lots of "birders" around and what I have learned is that I may be an airplane and computer nerd, but there are some serious bird nerds out there. Pretty cool spotting scopes and camera equipment they have.

    sj
    Last edited by SJ; 12-30-2013 at 03:51 PM.
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  2. #2
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    How do they taste?

    Glenn

  3. #3
    nanook's Avatar
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    Eskimo food, they could tell you. When I was a young man working on a bucket line dredge, mining platinum and gold on the Bering Sea Coast, we had dozens of Snowy Owls flying around all day long. They were hunting parka squirrel (Arctic Ground Squirrel). I've never seen so many in one place since. They are quite common in the Arctic in the Summer though. They head South in the winter in search of food... Don't ever get near their nest, they will claw your scalp...

  4. #4

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    My "birder" wife, says they have not been seeing them here in N/W Ontario this season. Quite disappointed, as a siting is another notch on the gun for her group.

  5. #5
    pzinck's Avatar
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    Have not seen one, but several friends have spotted them lately. They have seen a fe around twitch ells airport.

  6. #6
    irishfield's Avatar
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    Very nice Steve... always a few in the yard here each winter.

  7. #7

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    Well, they actually taste pretty good, but it takes several to have enough for everyone. During hog-killing time, while we're scalding a hog or two, we'll throw the 15-20 snowy owls, we'd shot for that day, into the barrel while the hog's scalding. It makes it much easier to pluck their feathers. (They're kind of like a fox, after you get the feathers off there's not much meat).

  8. #8
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Steve,

    proceed to your local library and ask for the book "The Big Year". It's a hoot and it quite accurately describes some of the more "serious" birders.

    MTV

  9. #9
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    when my mom and I first moved to Naknek Ak in 1984 there was a bunch of them hanging around the cabin we lived in that winter(along with the 4" B&W 'portable' TV/radio we borrowed.. remember those??)... haven't seen a single owl since....


  10. #10
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Lemmings have moved south also, check around Washington D.C. for them.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  11. #11
    fabricfan's Avatar
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    It's legal to hunt them here in Alaska, so send some over if they taste good.

  12. #12
    barbwire's Avatar
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    It seems they show up here when we have the worst winters. Three years ago we had 2 1/2 times our normal snowfall and one showed up on our place. We watched it for a couple months. It was hard on the local rabbit population which worked out well!
    When I was a dumpster we chased one for two weeks during Christmas vacation. One day during a blizzard we ambushed the wary owl in a grove. I remember how small the body was on that large animal and how bad I felt after we did him in.
    I enjoy looking at them now and would not kill one again.

  13. #13

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    Glenn, why does Everyone always have to put stuff in there mouths. My kids always use to eat quarters.
    Last edited by tempdoug; 12-31-2013 at 01:14 PM.

  14. #14
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    Glenn, why does Everyone always has to put stuff in there mouths. My kids always use to eat quarters.
    Mine too. Then they wanted dollars, five spots, tens and twenty's....................where does it end.

    Glenn

  15. #15

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    If you want to go on a crash diet Try putting antelope in there sometime. Youll never put nothing in there again.

  16. #16
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    I've seen two of them on my property in the past few days. Also nearly hit one driving home from town. It was feasting on a snoshoe hare it had apparantly just killed. The owl was dining on its kill right on the white line of the road. It was dark and I nearly clobbered it when it ook to flight with its prey dangling from its claws. My wife was pretty amazed at seeing one so close.

  17. #17
    algonquin's Avatar
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    We had a high cycle in the vole pop. Last summer on my place in Seldovia, a pair of Great Horned Owl's, couple of hawks and I would guess fox and coyote came to visit for a couple of months.Problem was solved! The owl's hunted as a pair, very neat. Still looking for a snowy, never have seen one. Also watched a sow black Bear catch a vole one day, guess food is food.

  18. #18
    spinner2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    If you want to go on a crash diet Try putting antelope in there sometime. Youll never put nothing in there again.
    Montana antelope must be better tasting than North Dakota antelope. It has a distinctive and delicious flavor in my opinion. I'd rate right along side elk and whitetail doe.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  19. #19
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Complaining about Antelope... (maybe it was not cared for well when in the field), and some countries folks are happy to eat bugs.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Complaining about Antelope... (maybe it was not cared for well when in the field), and some countries folks are happy to eat bugs.
    "Speed Goat"
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Complaining about Antelope... (maybe it was not cared for well when in the field), and some countries folks are happy to eat bugs.
    Ya but there way ahead of us.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDqXwUS402I

  22. #22
    Gary Reeves's Avatar
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    Talk about a snow bird. Steve you could have searched in Florida!

    http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2...-talbot-island

    GR

  23. #23
    SJ's Avatar
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    Gary, those seem a lot more colorful than what we have seen here - maybe we are only seeing females.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  24. #24
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    Gary, those seem a lot more colorful than what we have seen here - maybe we are only seeing females.

    sj
    Steve,

    More variability in the barring between juvenile and adult birds than between the sexes, I believe.

    They should be feeling right at home in the Midwest and east coast this weekend.

    MTV

  25. #25
    cafi19's Avatar
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    Yup...I'd say you are right Mike. Sure felt like the Arctic today when I was watching this one in Milford, CT today.
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    cafi

  26. #26

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    Funny LJ, you don't look like a Biddle Bird Watcher...
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  27. #27
    cafi19's Avatar
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    I can't get enough of these things. They are so pretty (and so far away most of the time). One of these days I will get a good picture....clear.

    Here are some shots from today. Saw 2 of them together.

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    Kirby, I'm not a serious birder....but there was a time where if I could have figured a way to make a living I would have studied ornithology. Just love seeing all kinds of birds/wildlife.

    cafi

  28. #28
    SteveE's Avatar
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    I guess that takes the place of workin on your plane.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  29. #29
    cafi19's Avatar
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    Too cold for that this time of year.....but it is now in KC anyway. The long term plan is to have a nice big garage/shop. The short term plan is cramped and 1400 miles away.

    No expiration date....I will get to it.

    cafi

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