For those of you not on the NHBIRD listserve, this may be interesting. I
copied it from yesterday's digest.
>Rick Heil has stuck his neck out with a Great Gray Owl
>prediction.......now let's see if someone in NH can be the first to find a
>Great Gray Owl this winter!
>Click on the CHARTE under CHOUETTES LAPONES for a map of where they have
>shown up, just north of New Hampshire:
>Subject: Great Gray Owls on their way to New England.
>From: "rsheil" <rsheil AT juno.com>
>Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 14:15:16 -0500
> The Great Gray Owl invasion is advancing forward on the eastern front.
>These magnificent northern owls may be on their way to New England and
>Massachusetts too. Much closer to us than Minnesota, Great Grays are
>currently pouring into southeastern Ontario. Some 40+ were seen in the
>Ottawa, Ontario area just this past weekend (8-9 January 2005). That region
>is only about 300 miles from Boston.
> Typically, Great Grays, when they do occur in Massachusetts, don't reach
>us until late winter, or even early spring. Massachusetts records since
>1940 showing arrival dates (most from Birds of Massachusetts by Veit &
>Petersen, 1993) demonstrates this:
>27 March 1942 Lincoln
>9 Jan. 1952 W. Beckett
>22 Jan. 1973 Gill
>5 Jan. 1977 Andover
>29 Jan. 1980 Oakham
>10 Feb. 1984 Hadley
>1 Feb. 1996 Rowley
> In addition to those mentioned above there was THE major incursion during
>the winter of 1978/ spring 1979. During this unprecedented (at the time)
>invasion there were 97 sightings of Great Grays in New England, including at
>least 18 from Massachusetts. This flight began in late December in southern
>Ontario and Quebec (Vickery and Yunick. 1979 Great Gray Owl incursion across
>northeastern N.Am. American Birds 33: 242-244.), but the first owl to reach
>Massachusetts was not until 28 January when a Great Gray appeared at the
>Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. Two more owls were found on
>3 February (Newbury and Amherst), but the main surge did not occur until the
>second and third weeks of February when an additional nine owls were
>located. New owls, or at least new locations were still being discovered to
>the second week in March.
> So. I'll stick my neck out (a little) and optimistically predict that the
>first New England Great Gray of this flight will be found in VT, NH, or ME
>within a week, and Massachusetts will have one (or more?) by 10 February.
>S. Peabody, MA
>rsheil AT juno.com