As far as we know, no one has ever spotted a real snowy owl in the Peterson Preserve. Every winter for the past several years, however, snowy owls have been observed throughout New York — from Buffalo all the way to Central Park in New York City. A nonprofit organization called Project Snowstorm tracks “incursions” of snowy owls throughout the northeast. Project Snowstorm co-founder Scott Wiedensaul describes snowy owls as “chunks of the Arctic coming to your backyard, that’s a magical and mysterious thing.”

One of Roger Tory Peterson’s most famous paintings is of a pair of snowy owls. RTPI is proud to own this painting. Sometimes it’s on display in the museum. Sometimes — to protect the painting from too much light — only prints of the painting are on display. Either way, come inside the museum and take a look for yourself — let us know how this painting compares to the snowy owl he painted for his field guide.

Better yet, draw a snowy owl on the wall in Roger’s Art Studio. How would you begin? With the dappled feathers? The feathered feet? Or the piercing, golden eyes?


Barn owls are uncommon in the Peterson Preserve. Inside the museum, however, keep any eye out for one of Roger’s most famous paintings of a pair of barn owls.

Barred owls have one of the most distinctive calls. Around dusk, listen for Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all?

Owls eat many different things, from insects to small mammals to other birds. Most of their diet, however, is made up of field mice or voles.