[mou] Unusually plumaged Great Horned Owl, Bloomington, Hennepin County
sparkystensaas at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 28 12:09:41 CST 2008
I'm jealous! Sounds like a beautiful bird. Dave Benson in his recent Owls of the North book describes these 'Arctic' or 'Taiga' forms of the Great Horned Owl as 'seen mainly well to the North, but some winters they may show up as far south as the northern tier of states...They are not albinos, or even partial albinos; rather, like many northern creatures, they have a paler cast than their southern relatives.' See Christian Artuso's very cool photo of a pair of 'Arctic' Great Horned Owls on page 25 of the book. The photo was taken in southern Manitoba.Sparky Stensaas2515 Garthus Road Wrenshall, MN 55797 218.341.3350 cell sparkystensaas at hotmail.comwww.kollathstensaas.comwww.stoneridgepress.comwww.sparkyphotos.com
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 08:33:06 -0600From: Doug.Kieser at clynch.comTo: mou-net at moumn.org; mnbird at lists.mnbird.netSubject: [mou] Unusually plumaged Great Horned Owl, Bloomington, Hennepin County
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.
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