Snowy Owl

The birders’ listserve for Ithaca has been buzzing with various sightings of Snowy Owls.  Headed up to the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls this morning to look for the most recent reported bird and found it on the soccer fields behind the tennis courts.

You can tell by the height of the bleacher seat that this is a pretty large owl.  There were Crows in the area, and the bird moved location after a while, taking a perch on one of  the soccer goals.

It moved again as the Crows became vocal, retreating to some small trees in the fence row that divides the college athletic fields from adjacent farm fields.

The Crows seemed to take increased interest in the owl and began to dive past it.

This lasted for maybe 5 minutes after which the Crows seemed to tire of their sport.

As it quieted, I noted the owl was looking intently at the surround ground beneath it.  Possibly at prey? After a few  minutes, the owl swooped down into the farm field, mostly hidden.  We went to lunch, and when we returned the owl was out in the farm field beside a fence post.  It was not at a suitable distance for a photo.

The road back to the soccer field is posted but the nice security guard inferred that on weekends, they were not concerned as long as you stay on the gravel.  It is much less disturbing to the owl if you stay in the car. During the week, I would observe the owl from the maintenance building parking area.  This assumes that the owl remains in the location.

Paul Schmitt

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