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24234Re: Snowy Owls and Irruptions...

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  • zedbander
    Dec 5, 2012
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      What I've learned since I've been hands-on with Snowy Owls is that we don't know much for sure about them.

      However, for those interested in further study, the Birds of North America features Snowy Owls as one of their free samples, or they did earlier today.

      http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/010/articles/introduction

      It's a little outdated, as they have the oldest known wild owl at 9 years 5 months, when the latest banding data has an owl encountered at 16 years, and there have been new population estimates that lower the likely world population substantially, but otherwise there is a lot of information about these owls, including irruptions.

      They do point out that over 80% of known mortalities of Snowy Owls are human caused and just 14% of known mortalities are from starvation.

      Dan

      Matador, Sk

      --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, Scott Manly <manlyrs@...> wrote:
      >
      > As I was driving from Weyburn to Moose Jaw on Sunday, I counted 16 Snowy Owls atop poles and began wondering some about irruptions.
      >  
      > Last year was considered an irruption year for Snowy Owls, and from what I have understood, during these irruptions, many many birds usually die off in the winter for scarcity of food. But I noticed last year that the season was particularly warm, and many birds seemed to make it through the winter no problem (I remember one post of someone finding a "flock" of some 20 Snowies somewhere South of Regina in Spring).
      >  
      > I have wondered what this year would bring. Would it be another irruption (which I think would be unusual as the winter usually trims down the boom from the summer before)? Would this be a result of global warming, not so much from the warmer winter last year, but due to the warming of the Arctic?
      >  
      > Does anyone have anymore wisdom on this?
      >  
      > Thanks,
      > Scott Manly,
      > Moose Jaw
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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