[Tweeters] Changing numbers of Snowy Owls at sites

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Thu Jan 10 01:46:27 PST 2013


After reading George G's post segment about the 2 Bridgeport Snowies that were tussling, it occurred to me that at the different wintering sites here in WA, the prey availability may diminish over the course of the winter, forcing more competition among the owls and resulting in some being forced by others to move on (or weakening them). That could be one of the factors that causes the fluctuation in numbers of SNOW that we notice at the sites. I know of another birder/photographer, who recorded a Snowy tussle this winter at a W. WA site. The number of Snowies seen is currently down from what it was a month ago.

Then some questions: What is the usual dominance hierarchy among these 'irruptees'? Do some of the owls move from site to site over the course of the winter? And, of course, are some of the owls we are seeing this winter, the same individuals that were here last winter, and do they tend to select the same perches or roosting sites as they used the previous year?

So many questions, so few answers (or have I just not been paying enough attention...?)


Barb Deihl

North Matthews Beach - NE Seattle

barbdeihl at comcast.net





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