Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Update on yesterday's wild Snowy Owl chase: SURPRISE!

Well, as I pointed out in yesterday's post, although Steve Huy had noted a Snowy Owl leaving Cape Henlopen at approximately 2:13pm, and I was able to locate a Snowy Owl on Cape May Point at approximately 2:47pm, 34 minutes later and plenty of time for the bird to have crossed, photographs provided by Steve this morning show that the two owls are not the same! Thanks to Keith Betts, who snapped a few photos before the bird took off, we can confirm that the owls were indeed different individuals. Here are two photos of the bird that left Cape Henlopen yesterday afternoon around 2:13pm.

Snowy Owl on Cape Henlopen 1/29/2018. Photo by Keith Betts.

Snowy Owl on Cape Henlopen 1/29/2018. Photo by Keith Betts.

and here, again, is the bird found on Cape May Point at approximately 2:47pm:

The Snowy Owl from Cape May Point on 1/29/2018.
The bird from Cape May Point, while showing some dark markings on the wings and breast, was considerably lighter marked throughout than the Cape Henlopen bird. The Cape Henlopen bird appears to be a classic Juvenile Female bird, large, and very dark. The bird at Cape May Point is unknown as to age/sex but if a juvenile bird it could be male or female. Without a good look at the spread tail, or better yet, direct measurements like wing chord length and body weight, it's very hard to tell. One thing we do know for sure, though, is that there are many snowy owls throughout the northern US right now, with New Jersey hosting upwards of a dozen individuals (but quite possibly more than that).

Good Birding!


No comments: