Snowy Owl Irruption 2014
The Snowy Owl irruption of the winter 2013-2014 season is going to go down in history as one of the most fascinating and unprecedented birding events ever. If you live in the Northeastern United States, then this year is the year to see a Snowy Owl. New England can usually expect to see a Snowy Owl or two every season, as this is part of their normal wintering range, but this year has brought an amazing number of Snowies our way. Dozens, perhaps HUNDREDS of Snowy Owls have made their way to our shorelines this year as a result of a successful 2013 breeding season, and Cape Cod has seen more of these birds this year than ever before. I have been taking advantage of this phenomenon and have seen a handful of owls already. It is truly a thrilling and awe-inspiring experience to see one of these animals...The fact that they are active during the daytime and are most commonly seen on the beach, is even more fascinating and mind-bending...one usually thinks of owls as night-stalkers and something to be heard hooting in the dark, but Snowy Owls are enormous, white, highly conspicuous birds that are easily spotted right out in the open. They like to conserve their energy, so they often sit motionless on the crest of a sand dune for hours until it is time to find their next meal. Although their favorite arctic food is Lemmings, here on the Cape they have begun to hunt local rodents, birds, sea ducks and other waterfowl in order to survive. An incursion of these proportions may likely never happen again in our lifetimes, so if seeing a Snowy Owl is on your bucket list, this is the time to seize the day and go look for one!