Dead, sick and injured owls have been turning up on roadsides, backyard feeders and at wildlife rehabilitation centers throughout Minnesota this winter in what ornithologists are calling an “irruption,” a cyclical phenomenon in which birds that normally winter in northern Canada head south in search of food when snow cover makes it hard for them to hunt for rodents in their home territories. Similar events have occurred recently in southern Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and New England. (see http://www.examiner.com/article/snowy-owls-storm-the-us-record-numbers-t...
This year’s irruption has been worse mostly for tiny boreal owls whose prime habitat is the Sax-Zim Bog, about 45 miles northwest of Duluth.
“They’re excruciatingly cute, but are often hard to see because they are so small and don’t usually come out in daylight,” commented Geoff LeBaron, director of the Christmas Bird Count program at the National Audubon Society.
Early birds interested in seeing other types of owls can do so at the Sands Point Preserve on Long Island tomorrow (March 15), as the preserve conducts its “Owl Prowl” from 7:30am-8:30 am at the old Guggenheim Estate, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point, NY.
Cost is $10 per car (free for annual pass holders). For more info call 516 571-7901 or go online to sandspointpreserve.com.