Skip to main content

Snowy Owl makes front page!


This is the front page of the Columbus Dispatch, yesterday January 12th, 2012. A striking photo of a Snowy Owl, taken by Nina Harfmann in north-central Ohio, dominates. CLICK HERE for the story. The owl shunted aside all of the politics, war, crime and other typical newsfare of the day. If you saw the paper yesterday, you saw the owl - it just couldn't be missed. As a result, word of birds and birding probably reached a few hundred thousand people in one fell swoop.

Props to Nina for her excellent photo, and kudos to the Dispatch for their consistent coverage of nature and the environment. By the way, Nina's beautiful photo of a spotted salamander will be featured on the 2012 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp (OWLS). CLICK HERE for a look.

As a sad footnote, the owl in Nina's photo was found dead yesterday, the apparent victim of starvation. That fate, unfortunately, probably awaits all too many of these juvenile owls that venture this far south in search of food. On the upside, three new Snowy Owls were reported in Ohio yesterday (the reports need confirmation) and may they thrive.

Comments

Auralee said…
Can you give us a location in Hardin county where we might be likely to see a snowy owl? I feel a field trip is in my near future! What a thrill it would be to see such a magniicant bird!
Jim McCormac said…
Hi Auralee,

Unfortunately, the Hardin County owl was found dead; apparently it starved :-( If I hear of any others turning up in that neck of the woods I'll let you know.

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.


So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…