Harbinger of Blizzard Hercules: Snowy Owl vs. Peregrine Falcon

01/02/2014

With massive Blizzard Hercules bearing down on the Northeast, I thought it would be timely to post about the strange influx of snowy owls showing up in the region this winter.  Perhaps they're a harbinger of this huge storm?

Snowy owls are one of the most instantly recongizable birds (just ask Harry Potter fans).  They are an Arctic species that normally is found in the far, far north.  Their white plumage provides camouflage in their snowy habitat and they even nest on the ground since there are no trees on the tundra.

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr Creative Commons.

Sometimes, however, these beautiful birds show up much further south, usually when there's a lack of their normal prey, rodents such as voles and lemmings. This is one of those years.

Birders and wildlife watchers always go bonkers over southern sightings of snowy owls. But not everyone is happy about their presence outside of their normal range, as this video showing snowy owls being bombarded by the world's fastest living creature, the peregrine falcon, demonstrates.

Get Involved! Adopt a Snowy Owl and protect wildlife with David and the National Wildlife Federation.  

 


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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