They’ve been seen and photographed at Katama in Edgartown, on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs and on windswept beaches from Cape Pogue to Aquinnah. Snowy owls are showing up all over the place on the Vineyard this year, and even the Island birding community, with its considerable depth of knowledge, has been unable to explain why. They’ve also been unable to get an actual count so far, since the birds have a remarkable range and can fly from one end of the Island to the other the way we might go to the end of the road to get the mail. So in some instances two owl sightings could actually be the same owl.

No matter. The owls are a majestic sight on the wing, and a study in deep contemplation while perched in a gnarly bit of scrub oak on some remote barrier beach. Little wonder owls are called wise.

We welcome these new Island visitors this year in their spectacular coats of winter white. It’s worth going out to look for one — and with so many sightings, chances are good you may get to see a snowy owl this year.