Isn't this owl's expression just a little intimidating?
The wise old owl, or younger owl, in this case. To me, the look we are getting suggests, “Nothing to see here, just move along.”
These are some really serious birds. I'd never seen one except in a Harry Potter movie or in famous photographer photos from Yellowstone or National Geographic. Why would they come to Maine, anyway?
There are food shortages in the Arctic, so a “Snow bird” convoy headed south to Maine. I guess Maine isn't the only place the snowy owls have flown. Times are tough back home — road trip! They are all over New England: Rhode Island, Logan Airport, Portland, elsewhere in Maine and beyond.
Pretty bird. Big! Penetrating eyes, lots of feathers and very little body. They eat voles and small rodents. They eat them whole and then cough up a “hair ball” of undigested stuff called pellets.
I promised the folks who invited me to see the birds that I wouldn't identify their “home base.” The snowy is very territorial and doesn't like a lot of fuss. Life's hard enough for them without a bunch of us critters marching around their neighborhood.
This bird put up with me just long enough. I felt a little paparazzi like with my long lens. Sadly, no big magazines have contacted me. I guess they are looking for more revealing images from sunny island beaches.
This article originally appeared in the Boothbay Register on March 5, 2014.