Sunday, 22 January 2017

Post From the Past: Snowy Owl in June

Way back in June of 2012, I was informed of a snowy owl that had been spotted a couple blocks from home.  I was just starting to get interested in birds at the time and was eager to see a snowy, and yet had no idea at the time how unusual it was for one to still be around in June.  The drive out to see the bird was a successful one and I obtained multiple distant but identifiable photos of the species. 

Years went by and I remembered seeing the owl, but could no longer say for sure what time of year exactly.  Then yesterday, upon going through old pictures, I found my photos from that day with an attached date of June 17th 2012.  Now, years after the sighting, I can indeed say that I saw a summer snowy owl.  Recent examination of old ebird records also indicates that other observers saw the bird, which further helps confirm the sighting.

Snowy owl is not an unexpected species in this area during the winter months, but they don't seem to invade Perth county in the same numbers that they sometimes do elsewhere.  This makes every one seen, a special sighting.

I was curious to see how often snowy owl shows up in the general southern Ontario region in the winter compared to odd summer sightings like this.

The ebird map below shows submitted snowy owl reports between the months of November to April, the time of year when snowys are more common visitors.

And this map shows the records from May to October.  It's quite self explanatory.

Needless to say, I was very glad to have seen that owl back in 2012.  It was the first snowy that I had seen and the fact that I can now confirm that it was an odd time of year, makes it even more special.

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