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birding Upper Mississippi

Snowy Owl Update…. then there were FIVE! 12/6/2017

Dan Jackson has updated the Onalaska/La Crosse, Wis. area Snowy Owl sightings. Here is a beautiful image pulled from A-Z animals under a share license from Creative Commons.

Image result for snowy owl imagesDan’s Update:  On Monday morning, the refuge manager for the La Crosse District of the Upper Mississippi National Fish and Wildlife Refuge spotted an immature female Snowy Owl at the refuge Visitor Center on Brice Prairie (west of Onalaska off of County ZN.  By late afternoon, 2 more had been seen.

Yesterday, three birds were perched in the parking lot of the maintenance building at dawn.  When refuge employees picked up equipment for the day’s projects, the birds spooked and flew into the corn field just to the north.

At dusk, while a few of us were watching those 3 birds, we were surprised to see 2 other birds fly by making a total of 5.  At least 2 were immature females and 2 were lightly barred and were either immature males or adult females.

The birds got active between 4:30 and dark and moved up from their perches on the ground to perch on signs, posts, tractors, telephone poles, and other vantage points – making them easier to see.

Someone asked if they might migrate as family groups and could these birds be related?  Has anyone done genetic testing of groups of birds found at a single location before (Duluth Airport, etc.)?

 

By admin

Pat Middleton is the founder/publisher of the Mississippi River Home Page at www.greatriver.com and Great River Publishing which has produced quality river heritage and natural history books since 1987.

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