Drifting In and Out

IMG_6330

This week’s photo, taken December 12, 2012 in Stanwood, WA, features a SNOWY OWL lounging on driftwood. It probably also spends much of its day drifting in and out of sleep.

I return to Stanwood (an hour north of Seattle), on a quest to see owls, and I am not disappointed. After I pay a $10 fee for permission to walk on a farmer’s private land, I stroll the levee between Boe and Thomle Roads, where I spot 8 SNOWY OWLS and at least 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS. To the east, a couple of Snowys are sitting on the ground out in the fields, and a third one is perched on the roof of a small building in the middle of a field. To the west, 5 additional Snowy Owls pose on their individual driftwood pedestals that rise out of the mudflats which lead to the shallow bay named Port Susan. Each owl sits motionless for long periods of time. The owl on the roof remains on the roof for the entire 3 hours that I’m in the area.

By contrast, the Short-eared Owls are frequently active, especially toward the end of the day, as they fly back and forth over the fields and mudflats, in search of rodents and other nutritious snacks. When a Short-eared Owl passes through the neighborhood of a Snowy Owl, it often dive bombs its much larger cousin. The Snowys don’t seem bothered or concerned by the Short Ears’ obnoxious behavior.

Other Species of Interest:

SNOW GOOSE

NORTHERN HARRIER

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK

BALD EAGLE

MARSH WREN

Advertisements

About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s