UPDATE 1/24/2016: See updated Snowy Owl information for 2015-2016 on our Bangor Daily News blog.
UPDATE 2/16/15: Total of 17 Snowy Owl sightings in Acadia National Park have been reported to eBird.org as of 2/8/15, up from the 10 as originally reported in this blog last month, the most ever reported in one season. See updated numbers below.
UPDATE 1/31/15: Want to help fund a better understanding of the enigmatic Snowy Owl, and get some Snowy Owl memorabilia to boot? Consider a tax-deductible donation through an Indiegogo campaign by Project SNOWstorm, going on through end of March. See some amazing video of Snowy Owls in motion while checking out the fundraising page.
This time of year on the wintry mountaintops of Acadia National Park, the serious birders come to scan the landscape for the Snowy Owl, normally a raptor of the Arctic tundra.
They may sit and observe a Snowy Owl for more than an hour at a time, as Michael J. Good did, watching the same owl on different days in November, on Cadillac and Sargent Mountains. “There is nothing quite like spending time with this charismatic bird from the North,” Good wrote, in sharing a favorite Snowy Owl photo with us.
Or they may post photos from their field trips on Facebook, as Rich MacDonald did, not only of the two Snowy Owls he saw the same day in December on Sargent, but also of owl pellet degrading after the rains from a day earlier. “Snowy Owls are back!” his Facebook page proclaims.
MacDonald, a naturalist and field biologist, is co-owner of The Natural History Center with his wife Natalie, while Good, a Registered Maine Guide, is owner of Down East Nature Tours. Both Bar Harbor businesses lead tours year-round in Acadia, and around the globe.
Acadia National Park – well-known for peregrine falcons, the annual HawkWatch and the Acadia Birding Festival – may also rightly lay claim to being a spectacular place to catch the flight of the Snowy Owl.
Even before the 2013-2014 headlines about the sudden upsurge of Snowy Owls migrating to the US – known as an irruption – Acadia has been an occasional winter home for Snowies. Continue reading