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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

Owl sees mouse 600 feet away

How good is Snowy Owl eyesight? Read on.

 

There is another Snowy Owl irruption this winter, mostly to the east of us. Owls are being seen in Minnesota, but with nowhere near the frequency we enjoyed during the winter of 2014.

 

Project Snowstorm is the organization that has been tracking Snowy Owl activity since that banner year. Volunteers capture owls (nets) when possible so the birds can be equipped with devices that receive satellite signals used to determine the owl’s location. 

 

Information is retrieved from cell phone towers. The recorders automatically unload data when the bird is in cell phone range.

 

For subscribers, owl activity is updated by email. 

 

One owl is being tracked in North Dakota. It was caught in a net trap early last week. 

 

The bird was estimated to be 600 to 700 feet from the trap location. Inside the wire mesh trap was a mouse. The trapper reported that the owl stared intently at the trap for 45 minutes. Then it flew straight in, and was caught.

 

The bird apparently saw the mouse from a distance of 600 feet.

 

Four Snowy Owls are being tracked in Wisconsin. Two are in the Buena Vista grasslands in the central part of the state. The third has been traced near Madison, the fourth near Green Bay.

 

No Minnesota Snowy Owls have been tagged as of Feb. 16. 

 

Tagged means a small, light receiver/transmitter has been attached by harness to the bird’s back. Batteries in the devices are recharged by solar cells.

Wildlife Rehab Center Open House Sunday, Feb. 18

The Minnesota Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is having a free open house Sunday (Feb. 18). The center plays an important role in this community, treating hundreds of injured animals each year. Visit between noon and 4 p.m.

 

The address is 2530 Dale St., Roseville. This is a few blocks north of Highway 36 on Dale.

 

The rehab center’s web page always has interesting stories, photos, or videos. Find it on Facebook or at wrcmn.org.

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