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By: jkr (offline) on Monday, January 23 2012 @ 09:59 AM EST  
jkr

Judy, I can't help but love those Snowy owls. They are so unique and bring back memories of the Ookpik dolls that came out in the 1960's...... oh those were the good old days. Grin

Do you happen to know if there is any record of them sticking around for this length of time before ? It seems they have been here longer than normal.

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By: JudyB (online) on Monday, January 23 2012 @ 10:17 AM EST  
JudyB

Those owls are so beautiful - thanks so much, Judy! And an eagle as well!

It is a bit hard for me to think of BC as a warm place to spend the winter - though the coastal area does seem quite a bit warmer than my corner of Maine!

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By: jewill (offline) on Monday, January 23 2012 @ 12:49 PM EST  
jewill

Thanks for the nice comments Judy and Judy (from Judy - a trifecta!)
The Snowys have been here since about late November and will probably hang around until the end of January, or possibly into February. They come down here in significant numbers every 4 or 5 years (we usually see a few each year, but nothing like what has happened this year). Their main prey is lemmings which apparently runs in cycles of 4 to 5 years, so if the lemming population is scarce up north they come down here for food. Hopefully they are all getting good and fat for their long, harsh migration back home. Sadly, of all the Snowys that are here now, only a few will survive the migration especially those on the coast. They have the mountains to navigate around and over (unlike the Prairies where it's mainly flat all the way) so if they haven't packed on a lot of fat and muscle they will have a difficult time making it back home. It sure is tough being a wild animal.
I think it may seem like they've been here longer than normal because of all the media attention. I don't recall hearing anything about them in previous years. It only served to attract people who otherwise would not know or care about them being here and then disrespected them by invading the marsh and getting too close, causing them to take flight to get away, which is the last thing they needed. But I guess that's the point - to get "the shot" of one in flight (btw, I was on the dyke, about 60 feet away from them when I took those pics, gotta love the telephoto lens).
And 'yes' JudyB I guess for a Snowy owl our winter seems like a tropical paradise. Where they are from it routinely gets to -40 C and around here, well recently it went down to -12 overnight with a windchill of -17, downright balmy for them.
Ha, ha Ookpik - JKR, I had one and had forgotten about it.
Lastly I am fortunate enough to live in an area where there are lots of eagles around. That one caught my attention because she (or he, I don't know) was having such a hard time even staying upright. The wind was gusting to 100 km/h yesterday, so bad that almost all of the ferries from the mainland to Vancouver Island had to be cancelled.


Judy W.
Surrey, BC, Canada
(Photo used with permission)


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By: sassyk (offline) on Sunday, February 05 2012 @ 03:09 PM EST  
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On my way to Boundary Bay to see the Snowy Owls on Friday, we stopped on a side road to watch and photograph the many eagles perched in the trees and on power poles. Mindy (eaglesonly-emme) stopped by on her way to work at O.W.L. and chatted for a few minutes and said if we stopped in at O.W.L. on our way back she would give us a tour of the education birds in the outside cages. My sisters were absolutely thrilled to see the birds so close and were equally as thrilled to see the O.W.L. nest, the cameras and one of the eagles perched at the top of the nest tree :thumrht: Here are a few pics. Click bigger.

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One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. ~ William Shakespeare


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By: stim (offline) on Sunday, February 05 2012 @ 04:56 PM EST  
stim

:hello: Kay, appreciate your update and especially love the look on (Ma?)'s face in your last photo. Are there many snowy owls left? I might try to get over there with my sister before they leave.


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By: sassyk (offline) on Sunday, February 05 2012 @ 07:04 PM EST  
sassyk

Thanks Sandra. There were approx. 12 owls there. Most of them were sitting amongst the logs and not looking too pleased with all the people looking at them. I'll be posting some photos later; still working on them.


One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. ~ William Shakespeare


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By: stim (offline) on Saturday, February 18 2012 @ 05:59 PM EST  
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Wooh Yahoo, I got to Delta to see the snowy owls in person on Valentines' Day. What a perfect way to spend part of the day, AND the sun came out as we headed in that direction!!! Cheers There were about 10 in total still sitting there, just down from the dyke.
First we passed the great blue heron entering breeding colours.
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Next one looks like a great blue but not completely with the "messy hair". Titter Can anyone ID it? The 2 were sitting fairly close to each other, on opposite sides of the dyke.
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And then our first snowy owl. Can you get much cuter? Red Heart
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By: stim (offline) on Saturday, February 18 2012 @ 06:03 PM EST  
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This one looked so cute peeking out at us.
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