Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dec 23, 2017: Snowy Owl

One to 2 Snowy Owls have been sighted along US-30, between Ames and Boone, for several days since last weekend.  This one was found by the west-bound exit to IA-17 (Exit 137).  This is an irruption year for Snowy Owls, especially into the midwest and east.  High lemming numbers in Spring resulted in excellent nesting successes.  However, conditions have changed and there aren't enough food resources for the juveniles, so they have been forced southward.  Many of those arriving here are in poor condition.  Fifty to 75 Snowy Owls have been reported so far in the state (number varies due to multiple sightings of the same bird, but in different locations).  Several have been found dead due to starvation or roadkill.  [On the 19th, I was a witness to the release of a "rehabilitated" male at Dunbar Slough in Greene County.]  I'm still hoping to find one at the Park. (Wolf. Oesterreich, 12/20/17)

1 comment:

  1. I saw one yesterday at Ames along Highway 30 sitting high atop a power pole between University and Dakota Ave's.