[Tweeters] RE: How does this Snowy Owl year compare?

Ryan Merrill rjm284 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 20:35:10 PST 2005

Stewart and others,

The only big irruption year that I personally have experienced in Washington
was the winter of 1996-1997. One day that winter while visiting my cabin on
Samish Island I ran into at least 4 Snowy Owls nearby. To get an idea of
older records you can look up historical data from past Christmas Bird
Counts online. Looking back through Washington's counts there are three
years that stand out. Here I looked up Snowy Owl totals statewide and then
from a few specific counts for these three years:

1974 - 172 statewide
Padilla Bay - 79
Gray's Harbor - 25
Seattle - 8

A few years ago I remember being able to do a search that displayed the high
counts for particular species from of all the CBCs across the continent but
I'm not seeing how to do that right now. When I did that before I remember
that the highest count in 1974 was 107 in Ladner, BC, followed by Padilla
Bay's 79.

1985 - 28 statewide
Padilla Bay - 6
Gray's Harbor - 3
Seattle - 0
Ladner - 40

1997 - 66 statewide
Padilla Bay - 11
Skagit Bay (includes Fir Island) - 10
Gray's Harbor - 17
Seattle - 2
Ladner - 62

Have fun looking up past CBC counts at the following web address:

Ryan Merrill
Chestnut Hill, MA / Kirkland, WA
merrillr AT bc.edu

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