Saturday, January 3, 2009

Camera Critters: Snowy Owls the Sequel

A couple of weeks ago I featured a couple of pictures of a snowy owl that I took at the MSP airport for my submission to that weeks Camera Critters Meme.
This week I have a new picture of a different snowy owl taken at the same airport. It appears as though there are at least two owls hanging around MSP. This new owl appears to be a mature male, you can tell this by the lack of spots or barring on the owl.

The first owl that I photographed in December at the airport, pictured above, had much more barring. This would indicate that it is either a female or possibly a young male, I am guessing the later of the two.

The owls like the flat open areas that you find at larger airports, it is similar to the habitat that you find out on the tundra where they live most of the year. Airports also tend to have a good supply of rodents which is necessary to support these large owls. As you can see from the pic above they do not seem to be bothered by the incoming and outgoing planes but I have to believe that the jet fumes can not be good for them.

20 comments:

Aluajala said...

Owls are amazing. I can hardly recollect any birds with such eyes
I wonder why they live at the airports and don't look for healthier environment though.

madcobug said...

Those are beautiful. You can hardly see them in all that snow. I am surprised the planes don't run over a lot of them since they seem to have no fear of the planes. Helen

Leedra said...

The top photo is awesome, can see where the name comes from. The
2nd I remember, and is still great. But the last one is amazing. I never would have thought they would get that close to the runway. Guess they know where their limit is.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

How beautiful. I have never seen a snowy owl in the wild before but hope to!

Shellmo said...

I was going to ask why the snowy owls were hanging out at the airport - glad you provided the info. They are just so beautiful in your photos - I've always wanted to see one. Maybe I need to go to a local airport in northern michigan?? I was checking the range map on cornell's site - so I believe they're here in Mich.

ramblingwoods said...

Oh wow...they are stunning. I hope they make it. I guess the lemming population wasn't very good this year. I have been listening to a pair of GHO in the back woods. It's that time of year...

Teena in Toronto said...

So well camouflaged!

I played too :)

Reader Wil said...

All of your photos are great. And your post is very interesting. I didn't know about the spots being a feature of young birds.

Arija said...

There is some magic about owls in general and Snowies in particular that is hard to describe.
Thanks for your wonderful photos!

Grammy said...

Truly amazing photos. I would have never thought you could see one at the airport.

Penelope said...

Seriously, wow! Where have you been watching from?

Karen said...

Amazing photos. The first one looks as though it was made out of snow..

Mimi said...

Wow, that's just amazing that they don't have a problem being so close to the planes.

Great shots!

i beati said...

first one looks as though he's melting and with the plane What a fabulous shot !!sandy

Misty Dawn said...

These are truly magnificent creatures. Seeing your photos takes my breath away - I can't even imagine the thrill of seeing one of these gorgeous birds in real life!

gina said...

such beautiful owls. hopefully the jet fumes won't do them too much damage.

ivars krafts said...

Love the shot of the Snowy & the plane. Great timing.

Ice Pony Goddess said...

amazing!

Mary said...

They have to be one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Amazing photos! Just lovely.

Anonymous said...

I found this site while looking for information about Snowy Owls. My husband & I saw our first Snowy Owl today on Plum Island, MA in the marshes. I didn't know they wintered in this area. There is some great information about them - Thanks.