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.