As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Arctic ookpik boom sees many snowy owls head south this winter

"Snowies" have been seen in south-central United States


Snowy owls have become the new Canadian “snow birds” this winter, migrating south of the border in great numbers, and some of the birds, called ookpiks in Inuktitut, have gone as far south as the state of Missouri where their presence on power poles, hay bales and fences has attracted a lot of attention.

In Missouri—more than 3,800 kilometres south of north Baffin, where many snowy owls nest and breed—the big owls, which can weigh up to more than six pounds and have a wingspan of nearly five feet, find a varied diet: they may eat rabbits, squirrels and other rodents, mink and muskrats, and waterfowl and other birds, which they find “usually by sitting on a fence post or from other vantage point and looking and listening for prey,” the Missouri Department of Conservation said in a recent update on snowy owls.

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