I made a run into Milwaukee to see the Snowy Owl at the Lake Express that had been reported. When I arrived at 8:00 am, the Snowy Owl was no where to be seen. I birded other parts of the lakefront with nothing major to report. I stopped at the Lake Express one more time before leaving the lakefront and the Snowy Owl was present. It was sitting out near a pipe, moved 10 feet from that location in the next couple hours and remained a very long distance from the best viewing point. The first Snowy Owl sighting of the season is always a special treat no matter how far away it is from viewing. It was a pleasant day out on the lakefront with mild temps, some sun early and low winds. It was a fun day too seeing some old birding friends and meeting some new. Images of the beautiful female Snowy Owl were taken on November 29, 2014.
Binomial name: Bubo scandiacus
Category: Typical Owls
Description: Adult males are mostly white with a few dark feather tips. Adult females and juveniles are white with dark scalloping on chest, back, wings, and tail. Yellow eyes, black beak, and feathery feet.
Size: 20”- 28” long, 49” – 59” wingspan
Weight: 3.5 lb. – 6.6 lb.
Habitat: Wide open, treeless spaces such as shorelines, lakes, open fields, and agricultural sites.
Diet: Small mammals such as rodents, lemmings, voles, mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and other birds such as shorebirds, songbirds, ducks, geese, and pheasants.
Nesting: The female builds a nest on a mound with good visibility. She scrapes away the top layer of soil and, over several days, presses her body into the ground to make a depression. She will lay a clutch of 3 to 11 eggs and incubate them for about 5 weeks. Both parents will defend the nest and care for the hatchlings which are born pure white. The same nest may be used year after year.
Notes: Snowy owls are considered the heaviest owl in North America, weighing about a pound more than its closest contender, the Great Horned Owl. A snowy owl was featured in the Harry Potter series when Harry received his pet, Hedwig. It is also the official bird of Quebec.
They are always breath taking either in person or in picture. Thanks