Yesterday morning we were planning on sleeping in and enjoying a lazy Sunday. Maybe get some cleaning done, watch a movie, laundry, etc. But around 7:00am we both sprung out of bed after hearing a Great Horned Owl hooting somewhere near our house. We heard them twice and we were convinced he was in one of our trees in our backyard. After searching every tree around our house in the chilly morning air, we realized he must have taken off. So there we sat, wide awake much earlier than anticipated with owls on the brain!
Mark has been wanting to drive over into Wisconsin for the past few weeks now to find a Northern Hawk Owl that has been seen numerous times in one particular spot. So today became the day! On top of just going to get a picture of the owl, Mark was trying out the new backpack that he bought specifically for traveling with all of our photography gear and laptops.
This past weekend we finally had an opportunity to go out and try to find some of the snowy owls that have come down to winter in Minnesota. Last year was a huge year for snowy owls in Minnesota and was part of what is called a snowy owl irruption. In short the food supply and nesting from the previous summer was so great that we see an especially large number of snowy owls make their way down into the US.
This year many reports are stating that we could see the same or higher numbers of snowy owls in Minnesota. This is VERY exciting for birders and photographers but I will say that it also brings up a number of controversial topics. I am NOT touching on these in order to offer my opinion on any of these items, just briefing what they are all about as things to think about and research to form your own opinions. I have found that these can easily be explosive topics by people being on both sides of the discussion/argument.