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
least terns are back and louder than ever
7 hours ago