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half-dutch

Snowy Owl in the Metro

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My weekend UPS pickup driver reports having either seen three Snowy Owls or one three times this winter already around the Minneapolis/St Paul international Airport.   If the temp weren't enough, that is additional sign that winter is here.

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Winnipeg news paper artical today claims  that reports of sightings and incidents with snow owls is way up this year . It says that mostly the owls are young and probably they moved south due to competition from more experienced older owls up North .   The population of lemmings is normal this year but the population of owls is higher than normal .

 

On a side note the local bird population ( chickadees, siskens .red polls.grosbeaks and such ) is almost non existent this year around Rainy Lake 

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About local birds of prey in the Metro, I know we have the falcons (my buddy and I got buzzed by one down by the Mill Ruins one evening), also coopers and sharpshins in the summer, but  lately I have been seeing a large hawk (but definitely smaller than the eagles) that seems sort of brownish, but never seen in full light, mostly in shadow;  so more or less brownish or grayish, but quite a chunky, robust type of bird.  Do we maybe have goshawks coming into the Twin Cities like we now have loons doing from time to time?  A friend lives on the 16th floor up on north Central and I have looked down on this bird a time or two but never at it from underneath.  The back seems to be a pretty solid color, but like I said, I have never seen this bird in full sunlight.  It strikes me as quite robust in part because I remember it having relatively short wings and it did not waste any time soaring either.   I am not really a birder;  so I am only guessing here.

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I am in Inver Grove Heights and have seen a snowy owl a couple of times hanging out around a patch of woods. I walked in there and found him but he would not let me get close at all, wish I had a good camera with a telephoto lens.

Edited by Crow Hunter

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The big hawks I have been seeing around this winter, I think are redtails that are hunting metro pidgeons. 

I have not personally see the snowy owls myself. 

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We certainly have enough crows in the Metro this time of the year. 

We also have a very healthy population of carnivorous birds;  so they better watch their step or they become supper.

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