Prowling for Snowy Owls Can Be a Chilly Business

It was a hardy and eager bunch who showed up Saturday morning armed with scarves, mittens, boots and binoculars ready to prowl for snowy owls at Norton Point.

Looking For Snowy Owls In All the Right Places

Snowy owls are still hanging around and among the most reliable places to spot them are Norton Point Beach, Quansoo, the West Basin, and lately, East Chop and Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs.

Arctic Visitors Enjoy Ample Food and No Polar Bears

Snowy owls have been spotted in unusually large numbers throughout the Eastern Seaboard this year, including on the Vineyard. Beaches and open habitat resemble their native Arctic tundra.

Whale of a Tale

David Smith and his father Steve Smith, who was visiting from Cape Elizabeth, Me., emailed a note which stated that they had seen and photographed a snowy owl next to the Aquinnah Shop in Gay Head on Nov. 21! That beats the Nov. 29 record and adds to the question: Just how many snowy owls are there on Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick? Actually, I guess I should ask how many snowy owls there are in Dukes County?

Snowy Owl Invasion

There have been three very interesting sightings this past week. One is of snowy owls that were seen and photographed in two locations.

Snowy Owl

Chappaquiddick has a powerful and stunning visitor from the North. Olsen Houghton and Joel Graves were between the Cape Pogue Gut and Cape Pogue Lighthouse on Dec. 2 and spotted a snowy owl working over the dunes. They were able to videotape the bird and watch it for quite a while.

Snowy Owl Fallout

There has been a fallout of snowy owls on the Vineyard. It all started on Nov. 7 when one was spotted in the Squibnocket area. Now there have been sightings of this large and powerful white owl in Chilmark, West Tisbury, Edgartown and Chappaquiddick. Gus Ben David and I figure there have to be at least two different snowy owls on the Vineyard and possibly three.

Katama Snowy Owl

The internet is a great boon to birders. We can share our sightings daily, or if you are really intent, hourly. The net is also a way to keep birders honest.