The Snowy owl – A long distance traveler calling Rhode Island home this winter
It seems to have been a banner year for breeding in the arctic tundra for snowy owls, based on reports of snowy owls migrating throughout all of New England.
By now I am sure you have heard of the news of the snowy owls being killed by shotgun at the Kennedy International Airport in efforts to control bird to plane strikes. Thankfully Kennedy International Airport has since changed its methods to trapping after an online petition asking to stop the killing of Snowy owls reached over 3,000 signatures.
Snowy owls will sometimes stop at airports due to the vast wide open spaces, confusing these open areas of land to the tundra they call home.
Snowy owls are usually found in northern Canada and Alaska, for the past few years I have heard of snowy owls migrating into New England and as close to me as Middletown, Rhode Island.
This particular snowy owl here in Rhode Island tends to perch on the rock islands just off Sachuest Point in Middletown, Rhode Island. Sachuest Point is a federally protected nature preserve so along with the other winter birds, this snowy owl has a protected area of land to live and hunt while it winters here.
I’m not really set-up for bird photography, bird photography usually consists of long zoom lenses and my gear is set-up for portrait, travel and landscape photography, I was however definitely interested in an opportunity to view this beautiful owl.
Snowy owls are carnivores and their average life span in the wild is 9-10 years. Snowy owls are not like other owls that live in Rhode Island, these owls are diurnal – snowy owls are active & hunt both day and night.
Keep in mind the Snowy owls need their space, the birds seen here in Rhode Island are young owls already stressed and hungry, if consistently stalked and flushed out by human on-lookers we risk their chance of survival.