Welcome back to Snowy Owl season! I took these photographs of a very calm and sleepy Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) today at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Connecticut. One had been reported about a week ago in the area, though it was not seen again until the last couple of days. I was able to go over and briefly enjoy this bird sitting on a rock jetty along Long Island Sound with a few other birders.
It was in the perfect place to be seen and not disturbed, and unknowing folks taking a walk or jogging were mostly on the nearby boardwalk and far enough away from the owl so that it did not even take notice. Earlier in the morning this owl was sitting on a picnic table, but at some point someone must have flushed it – probably a member of the public. As I usually say with these type of photos please bear in mind that I shot several hundred, and most of them were of a snoozing bird oblivious to anything. However, the owl turned to look at a nearby gull (a couple gulls dove towards it a few times) and then in my direction at one point, and I was able to get these photos with its eyes open at 500mm, heavily cropped. At no point did the bird move while I was there, and everyone was very respectful (as they should be!) of this arctic visitor.
No owl should ever have to move or even look like it may want to move because of you. If it does, you’re too close. If it does not pay attention to you for more than a second then you’re in a good spot. Good birding, and good luck with a Snowy in your patch! Hopefully this is the first of many similar posts to come this winter.
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator