Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Snowy Owl count

Posted by: Jim Williams under Bird migration, Bird sightings Updated: January 3, 2014 - 12:18 PM

Snowy Owls continue to be found in new locations throughout the state. An estimated 10 owls are in Dakota County as of Monday morning. These are owls seen and mapped for location. Owls also are concentrating in the Litchfield/Grove City area. There is no way to know just how many owls are here because they have to be seen to be counted. Known owls now number near 100. It's likely hundreds more are here but unseen or unreported. Reports, by the way, are tallied from email messages sent via the state's birding email networks. A map created by Duluth birding guide Michael Hendrickson can be found at

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=215779442560997336854.0004ee2b1fd714d205220&msa=0&ll=45.981695,-92.955322&spn=4.962383,11.315918

The Snowy Owl shown here is most likely a juvenile bird. The heavy dark marking is typical of young birds. Female adults are barred to a lesser degree. Adult males can be pure white. They are the grail of owl searches. This bird is atop a power-line pole. Many of the current Minnesota birds are being seen on poles. 

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