FWIW, there was an unusually light Barred seen around Orwell for
a while earlier this winter (I didn't see it myself, but saw a
photograph of it). The non-birders who saw it and took the pix
didn't know what it was, but thought it was probably a snowy
because of the coloration. This wasn't an albino, but just much,
much lighter than any Barred I've ever seen.
I keep checking the abundant farm fields here in the lower
Champlain Valley in hopes of a Snowy, or dare I say it, a Gyr,
but so far no luck. One o' these days...
June Schulte wrote:
> Hallo Maeve (and all interested) ~
> I sent your note about the Snowy Owl along to my wildlife
> biologist son, and he sent a response you may find helpful. All the
> best! ~ June
> There is a stretch of farm fields between English Settlement Rd and
> Timber Ridge Rd. on Poker Hill Rd. There are also a couple of fields
> just after turning onto English Settlement Rd from Poker Hill.
> Definitely worth heading up to take a look.
> Snowy Owls typically hang out on the ground/snow, fence posts, dead
> snags, or rooftops in or around open fields. You usually do not see them
> sitting up in trees. Ground or fence posts are the most common. Your
> best bet is to take your binoculars and drive along the road stopping
> regularly to scan over the fields looking for a big white or whitish
> brown bird. They are unmistakable once you see them, but they do blend
> in pretty well against a white background. Snowy Owls are active
> throughout the day, so no reason to go up there at night.