Thursday, January 2, 2014


There has been an irruption of snowy owls this year, with birds being seen in places like North Carolina, Bermuda, and even Florida.

These are birds of the Arctic Tundra that occasionally wander as far south as New Jersey.

But this year there have been over two dozen birds spotted here in New Jersey. With ten (the previous record for the entire year was fifteen!) found in a single day on the souther end of Long Beach Island.


I finally ventured out to see one this past Monday as Patty and I traveled to Cape May as part of her Big Year. After she got bird number 353 (white winged dove) we walked up the street and over the dunes to the beach.

A small group with scopes was at the end of the wooden walkway. Watching a bird that was making itself at home on a beach far far from its species normal haunts in Northern Canada.

The prevailing thoughts are that this was a very good breeding year for snowy owls, with nests of up to eleven young. Once the birds have grown the parents send them on their way, forcing them to find their own territories. As the older birds have established territories, the younger birds are forces to travel far and wide to find a place of their own to spend the winter.

And thus the spectacle in New Jersey and all across the northeastern US. This is a once in a lifetime experience. So if you're in the neighborhood you really should go out to see one of these magnificent creatures. And take your kids, tell them your going to see Harry Potter's owl.

Good Birding!


Anonymous said...

What a beauty...wish we would see those around here! Awesome capture!

Anonymous said...

I envy your proximity to the birds but not the cold the Arctic brings