2020 was certainly a terrible year for lots of things, one thing it was good for was snowy owl sightings around the US.Now we are in early 2021, this trend is continuing with the first snowy owl sighting in Central Park since 1890 (above).NY state is at the southern end of the species winter range. They are relatively common upstate NY, and even in the wilder Southern areas.
A snowy owl was spotted in Central park; maybe the rarest wild visitor to attract attention in Manhattan this winter.Typically found in the Arctic and parts of Canada, the bird is the largest North American owl by weight.Snowy owls have bristles on their beaks help them sense nearby objects.The beak (nearly covered by facial feathers) is hooked and used for gripping prey and tearing flesh.
Needing insulation from Arctic temperatures, snowy owls have a lot of feathers. This makes them one of the heaviest owl species in North America.
Their feet are covered with feathers, like fluffy slippers. This provides ample insulation for the cold Arctic climate.
Their wingspan is 4-5 feet on average. These powerful wings help them silently sneak up on or accelerate after prey.
Females remain with their young until they grow into adults, bringing them food and protecting them from predators.
We previously reported a snowy owl sighting in Seattle, Montreal, Ocracoke and Carlisle.
Young owls, especially males, get whiter as they get older.
Females are darker than males, with dusky spotting, and never become totally white. Some elderly males do become completely white, though many retain small flecks of dusky plumage.