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Feb 6, 2015

Snowy Owls: here, there and everywhere in the Holland Marsh

Nyctea scandiaca
Above are three photos of a female Snowy Owl taken on Woodchoppers Lane, just east of Hwy. 400 in the Holland Marsh, on Thursday of this week.   This was just one of five Snowy Owls seen in the Marsh during the sunny afternoon by my friend Gerry Binsfeld and me.   I'd been looking for Snowy Owls in the Marsh all winter, but these were my first.   Gerry had spotted four of them earlier in the day and together we found them again in the afternoon, plus a fifth bird.   It was a bitterly cold day but the sun was shining brightly.   None of the owls flew off as we approached them.   They seemed content to soak up the afternoon sunshine.   In total there were four females and one stunning all-white male.   As we wandered along the snowy roads of the Marsh, we also spotted several Red-tailed Hawks, two Coopers Hawks and one Rough-legged Hawk, plus several Common Redpolls.   There may have been a Hoary Redpoll in with the Commons, but neither Gerry of I felt sure about it.   All in all, we enjoyed a couple of fulfilling hours despite the chilly temperatures.
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