Snowy visitor

Posted on December 7th in News

Lost? Here on a visit? Or just waiting around for the annual Christmas bird count? This snowy owl has been spotted repeatedly over the past few weeks near Highway 78, a few miles east of Burns. According to USFS Supervisory Fisheries Biologist Rick Vetter, the young male owl’s arrival in Harney County can be linked to a surge in snowy owl population in his native tundra habitat, forcing many owls to move for better food opportunity. The owl’s diet usually consists of lemmings and other voles, but according to Vetter, their hunting strategies can also include snatching fish from the water. The snowy owl’s hunting activity takes place during the day, unlike other nocturnal species common to the area such as barn owls and screech owls. (Photo by KAREN NITZ)

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