Thursday, April 9, 2009

Snowy owls on Winthrop Beach

On a routine check of an area recently fenced to protect possible nesting least terns and piping plovers I came across these guys. This snowy owl is the largest owl species in Massachusetts, I believe it! My co-worker, Austin, spotted it first from about 300 feet away and said to me, "Hey, that's a REALLY big seagull!"

Snowy owls hang out at Logan Airport during the winter months so they could have possibly just been on a brief visit to a nearby beach. The Massachusetts Audubon Society is doing a long-term research project on these guys, they're not terribly uncommon in our state. Logan actually has the largest wintering concentration of Snowy Owls in the northeast. Since 1980 360 Snowy Owls have been tagged and relocated from Logan for flight safety control. Still these were my first snowy owls I've ever seen. We were literally jumping up and down from excitement! They were there when we arrived and still there when we left after a half hour (sadly, we had more fenced beaches to check out, we could have stayed all day!)

I apologize for not having a telephoto lens with me, fortunately taking photos through a pair of binoculars actually works! Enjoy! -kate


  1. Using binoculars for a zoom lens.
    Interesting....I never thought of that.

  2. Shooting through a spotting scope is pretty easy if you have one, and I don't) but the binoculars were a bit more tricky. I had my intern hold the binoculars as steady as she could and it actually worked!

    only the top photo was taken that way. the other two I cropped with iphoto as much as I could before it became too pixilated. Luckily I have a 10 megapixel camera but a telephoto would have been so much better.


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