With well over 100 Snowy Owls thus far reported in Ohio - biggest irruption in many decades - interesting stories are bound to arise. These birds draw lots of attention, and nearly everyone who has the fortune of seeing one is suitably impressed. An upshot of the owls' conspicuousness and popularity is that we get lots of reports from people that aren't in the birding network. That allows a better tally and more thorough documentation of an invasion (to use a much overused descriptor) that we aren't likely to see on this scale for decades, if history is a guideline.
One downside, for the owls, is that nearly all of them are juveniles, and utterly unfamiliar with vehicles. Couple that naiveté with their propensity to hunt near roads, and fly close to the ground, and owl-vehicle strikes will happen. I've heard of at least four cases of Snowy Owls killed in collisions with vehicles so far, and some say that this is the biggest cause of mortality for owls south of the breeding grounds, at least in populous areas.
UPDATE: This same owl, apparently, is doing well and hunting in the same area, at least as of January 1. Look for it near the junction of South Dixie Highway and State Route 281 in Wood County, not far south of the town of Rudolph.
This video comes from one of Ohio's prisons, and offers an interesting choice of habitats. The person who made the video reports that there are plenty of fields and wide-open habitats around the facility, and they are hopeful that the bird will stay for a while. It's pretty cool to see the big white owl cruise right over the concertina wire.
Snowy Owls continue to turn up in new spots about every day, with at least 113 reported in 39 counties to date. An update and map are RIGHT HERE.
Amazing mini-set of images of the Snowy Owl in the truck grill. I am always impressed at the toughness of these creatures.
Wow! great story/pics, and of course, amazing bird!
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