Owl

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Owl

Postby Bulldog87 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:51 pm

Was out in the salt marsh for low tide with a friend this morning, about 15 min after shooting time pair of black ducks came in we shot one landed on other side of berm so I ran full speed while reloading ( he was still alive) running towards the duck and a huge white grayish owl swept down got about 3 ft over duck and I shouted it flew off! It was nuts. Anyone know what kind of owl it may have been if day wing span was at least 5 ft
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Re: Owl

Postby Jofa » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:16 pm

Awesome experience, Its hard to say for sure, but it could very well have been a barred owl, they are pretty large, grey, and have multiple thin darker stripes on their chest (that look like "bars" i guess)

I've seen an owl drop out of a tree on the edge of a swamp to bag a green wing teal before. Cool sight, the owl actually flushed the flock of teal to me where i was able to get a bird too!
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Re: Owl

Postby rangercwh » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:27 pm

It is very likely you met a snowy owl. They are all over the marsh within and adjacent to Plum Island. Not sure where you were hunting, but at Logan airport, a researcher saw 13 in one day alone. Snowy Owls also predate on black ducks. I have seen a photo of a snowy owl eating a peregrine falcon. Norman Smith (Audubon, snowy owl project) shared that with me, and he saw it take out the peregrine. They range from very white, typically the adults, to quite grey/black spotted as first year birds. I've seen several snowies today. Nice story.
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Re: Owl

Postby Bulldog87 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:01 pm

Thanks for the info I was just across the way on the Salisbury side. I didn't get a great look at first I thought it was a seagull then I thought seagulls don't have talons lol the guy I was with was further back and got a good look! On the way out we saw some other that were behind us in the creeks and they mentioned they saw 2 big white (ish) owls. Still a pretty good experience, plus he didn't get my duck lol
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Re: Owl

Postby Baymen Moe » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:07 pm

ranger is right on, snowy for sure. Duxbury beach is another hot spot for snowy's. The unusual thing about this year is they're showing up very early. Typically we spot them more in the harsher cold months of January and February. Apparently the food supply in their northern range is low, causing them to come south early this year. Pretty sure a photographer got a picture of one as early as October this year.
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Re: Owl

Postby Mike M. » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:14 pm

Sounds like a Snowy Owl to me. I had one almost land on my boat blind last saturday afternoon. The bird was 5-7' from my head. I was daydreaming, looked up, and there it was yellow eyes in my face and talons out getting ready to land). I jumped. Bird flared, it was so close I felt the wind from it's wing beat. When the owl got a safe distance away, it turned it's head doing a double take at me. We were probably both freaked out!

One of the coolest things I've ever had happen in the outdoors. Had a good hunt too that day. Got 2 bluebills, which we don't see often here anymore.
A serious reduction in the population of black ducks would mean the end of waterfowl hunting for the majority of the New England sportsmen.

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Re: Owl

Postby Jofa » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:51 pm

oh yeah, I meant snowy owl! ha ha

sorry, I wasn't paying attention to the "salty Marsh" in your comment. :-)
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Re: Owl

Postby rangercwh » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:58 pm

[quote="Baymen Moe"]ranger is right on, snowy for sure. Duxbury beach is another hot spot for snowy's. The unusual thing about this year is they're showing up very early. Typically we spot them more in the harsher cold months of January and February. Apparently the food supply in their northern range is low, causing them to come south early this year. Pretty sure a photographer got a picture of one as early as October this year.[/quote]

Actually October is when we might expect to see snowy owls. The fact that snowy owls are here in such abundance is because they must have had a very large food supply which produced such a large amount of young birds. Two years ago there was a snowy seen in every of the fifty states, and all over the Parker River Refuge. Last year I saw one once. Yesterday there were 18 individuals seen on Plum Island. It is written in literature that snowies come down to search for food, as it is limited in the arctic, yet there is no information to support that, as there is no one looking at food supplies in the arctic. For a snowy to travel several thousand miles, it must have been very healthy, and not started out in a weakened hungry state. I am in the process of organizing a program on snowy owls in January at the Parker River NWR, free and open to the public. Norman Smith is one of the nations premier snowy owl researchers, and will hopefully have one to display. I'll post when it happens. Lots of myths, and incorrect info written on snowy owls. I am learning all of the time of how the bird does not read the books that describe them.
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Re: Owl

Postby Baymen Moe » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:05 pm

Of course, I forgot about the relationship between plentiful food supplies and large broods. Similar to mammals such as foxes and coyotes. Amazing how nature somehow figures that out.
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Re: Owl

Postby spreademandshootem » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:45 pm

I saw that pic of the snowy owl out on dux beach. Very cool
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Re: Owl

Postby Professor_Leakey » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:21 pm

rangercwh wrote:I am in the process of organizing a program on snowy owls in January at the Parker River NWR, free and open to the public. Norman Smith is one of the nations premier snowy owl researchers, and will hopefully have one to display. I'll post when it happens.


please do post up the info on this when it happens. i would be interested in attending and possibly bringing along my nephews. thanks.
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Re: Owl

Postby Baymen Moe » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:42 pm

It finally dawned on me that Norm Smith is the guy that we've joined in Duxbury banding Ospreys in late June a few times in the last few years. Our dept has also repaired and erected some Osprey posts as well. I'm pretty sure he's done a few presentations at the Duxbury library as well.
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