[mou] Unusually plumaged Great Horned Owl, Bloomington, Hennepin County

Doug Kieser Doug.Kieser at clynch.com
Mon Jan 28 08:33:06 CST 2008

Yesterday morning while birding along the Bluff Trail west of the Old
Cedar Avenue bridge I had a short encounter with an almost-white Great
Horned Owl.
I was on the second long boardwalk (the one with watercress in the
stream) sorting through a robin flock when I thought I saw a large white
bird out of the corner of my eye.  I scanned a bit, didn't locate this
bird, and turned my attention back to the robins.  Within a few seconds
they all took flight, I looked up and saw what I felt was a Snowy Owl
land at tree-top level just up the hill from my location.  I was
wondering what a Snowy Owl was doing in these woods when it turned its
head and faced me, I could see it was actually a Great Horned Owl, but
with black on white plumage, I could only detect the slightest hint of
light brown tones.  The facial disc was pale yellow, rather than orange,
and was framed in black.  The "horns" were plainly visible and were
black.  Other than these features the bird appeared the same as an
immature Snowy Owl.  After 30 seconds or so a dogwalker came through and
the owl flew off to the east, towards Cedar Avenue.  In flight, the owl
seemed nearly all white, the only visible dark markings were those on
the underwings.  
Doug Kieser
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