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snowy owl

Bubo scandiacus


Snowy owls often leave the artic where they live and breed during years where they've had higher than normal broods of offspring or when food is otherwise in low supply. This individual started at Fern Ridge in Oregon(and is possibly the furthest south on the west coast of any snowy this year) several weeks before Christmas and is at this time still entertaining visitors. This was a rare 80 degree day in Oregon!


"tern island" fern ridge reservoir. The floodgates are left open drying the reservoir into a temporary mudflat for the winter months and to prevent overfilling the lake. This creates a year round habitat that is frequented by birders, boaters, hunters and casual walkers. Fern Island is just under one acre and was installed by the Army Corps of engineers in an attempt to lure Caspian terns back in a breeding capacity. Many species not seen this far west are spotted here in breeding season.


Having completed the amazon portion of my trip to ecuador, I'm uploading other stuff for awhile

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KarenSaxton 4 years ago

Seems to be an Oregon thing. If you look through 100 year old papers, they kept track of the white owls shot for fun in the winter - it was in the 100's some years. Gee, I wonder why they don't come this way in great numbers now? </sarcasm>

JoshuaGSmith 4 years ago

I don't know why a hunter would shoot such an incredible bird; as a hunter myself, I have a deep respect for birds of prey such as this! Sad story.

KarenSaxton 4 years ago

There are three in Eastern Oregon near the Wash/Id corner, and I suspect that they were the same ones spotted in Portland and Salem, at the same time this one landed in Eugene. Furthest South one has come that I know of was in my county, but I didn't find out about it until some hunter shot it for fun and a 10 year old birder found the body :(

The last couple years we've had them in the farthest NW corner, which is 7 hours or so drive. I swear driving to San Francisco would be easier.

I took a good 100 shots and those three are the ones I've processed - I'll have a second spotting for him, I'm sure :)

jeslowery 4 years ago

They're so cool. Nice shots!

JoshuaGSmith 4 years ago

Nice bird, I assume it's rare in Oregon.

Spotted by

Veneta, Oregon, USA

Lat: 44.06, Long: -123.28

Spotted on Jan 24, 2015
Submitted on Feb 25, 2015

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