SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snowy Owl irruption

Already this winter is looking fantastic for birders, thanks to snow reported in Oregon, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and even in Central Indiana- snowy owls, that is. According to eBird sightings, an "irruption" (These are called "irruption years." Irruption means "to increase irregularly.") of snowy owls is spreading south into the United States, bringing these stately birds far from their traditional northern territories.
Hundreds of snowy owls are winging south from the Arctic looking for food, many of them dying of exhaustion, starvation and dehydration soon after they arrive.

Bird "irruptions"are not unusual during the winter months when nomadic species spread out far and wide in search of food, but they are often unpredictable. Raptor irruptions are highly anticipated and can be a phenomenal experience for birders who may never see these northern birds in the expected range. Birders finding these erupting snowy owls, however, should practice rare bird ethics to help protect the birds in unfamiliar territory.
Arctic researchers are suggesting that this year, lemming populations were very high, leading to a successful breeding season for snowy owls," Haas said. "With this big population explosion, competition on their typical wintering grounds is pushing birds, primarily inexperienced youngsters, into the lower 48 (states). This seems to be reflected in what birds are being seen in the U.P. this fall with only a few adults observed."

The snowy Owl is a species in a genus all it’s own. Although it’s exact evolutionary origins are unknown, it is widely thought to be most closely related to owls of the genus Bubo, such as the Great horned Owl.