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.

More and more Snowy Owls

Posted by: Jim Williams under Bird identification, Bird sightings Updated: January 17, 2014 - 1:11 PM

The number of Snowy Owls reported in Minnesota is close to 200.  Undoubtedly, there are many more owls, uncounted. For instance,a birder has reported talking with a coyote hunter who told her he has seen several Snowy Owls in north central Minnesota recently. He most likely did not report these to the birding email networks. Owl numbers continue to grow. The map can be found at 

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=215779442560997336854.0004ee2b1fd714d205220&msa=0&ll=46.634351,-93.999023&spn=9.808303,22.631836

Owls are routinely being reported near the Twin Cities in Dakota, Wright, Becker, and Anoka counties. 

If you go looking, and now you can do that without worry of freezing to death, drive county and township roads slowly. Look at the tops of any objects above ground level. Some of these birds are almost totally white; look closely.

Do not disturb the birds. Do not approach closely. Observation quietly from your car is recommended.

The photo below was taken several years ago at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Its flatness resembles  tundra, at least for these owls,. Tundra is home habitat for Snowies. Hazardous for planes, Snowies found at the airport are live-trapped and relocated.

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