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Why do Snowy owls like the airport?
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Author:  wdg [ Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Why do Snowy owls like the airport?

There are 5 sitting in the airport fields next to the runways. 
Makes photo ops a bit difficult :D

Author:  SantaFeJoe [ Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

To answer your title question, it’s because they like to fly!

Joe

Author:  chuckkl [ Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do Snowy owls like the airport?

wdg wrote:
There are 5 sitting in the airport fields next to the runways. 
Makes photo ops a bit difficult :D




The wide open airfield grounds are similar to the Arctic tundra ( treeless )

Also, possibly , this early in the season, they have not yet split up into their individual winter hunting territories.
Give it a bit of time.....you may find them more approachable. Keep an eye out for these owls on barn roofs , antennas , larger trees , lamp posts along highways......any convenient higher perch than the open surrounding lowlands.

These from last winter:

Image


Image


Image


Image


Good luck !!

Chuck.

Author:  david fletcher [ Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

SantaFeJoe wrote:
To answer your title question, it’s because they like to fly!

Joe


Economy, Premium Economy, Businesses or First Class?   :D.  Sorry as not meant to belittle OP but that did bring a chuckle.  

Could be lots of open spaces, that provide good visibility without any direct threatening human activity.  

Author:  wdg [ Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

The question, for the most part, was tongue in cheek :)
There are miles of grasslands to the north and east of the airport but yet Snowys seem to prefer the runways.
I think they fly first class ... :D
One year there were 11 in the airport fields.
I hoping this bodes well for the winter.
It’s frustrating when they are so close but yet so far.
Chuck - nice pics.
Snowy owls are the reason winter never seems so bad here, even at -20.

Author:  chuckkl [ Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

wdg wrote:
The question, for the most part, was tongue in cheek :)
There are miles of grasslands to the north and east of the airport but yet Snowys seem to prefer the runways.
I think they fly first class ... :D
One year there were 11 in the airport fields.
I hoping this bodes well for the winter.
It’s frustrating when they are so close but yet so far.  
Chuck - nice pics.
Snowy owls are the reason winter never seems so bad here, even at -20.




[font=Arial, "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, sans-serif]Many thanks !![/font]

[font=Arial, Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, sans-serif]If you don't mind.....where is the location of these owls ?[/font]

Chuck

Author:  OntPhoto [ Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do Snowy owls like the airport?

Image


Taken with the Nikon P900.  Snowy owls are like any other bird, why expend all that energy when you can hitch a ride?  Our snowy owls are back today in the usual spots west of Ottawa.(Kanata - Stittsville area). For the last 6 winters we have seen snowy owls at this location regularly and sometimes up-to 5+ of them at a time.  Spotted 2 snowy owls this afternoon, one perched on a pole at corner of Eagleson and Akins and the second owl along Fallowfield near Shea.  The early snow caught some farmers by surprise and several corn fields are still currently being harvested making for more suitable snowy owl habitat. Posted to eBird.

Author:  wdg [ Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think it may be a good winter - altho I don’t want to jinx anything.
There were 18 Snowys reported to the north of me - and none at an airport :)

Author:  OntPhoto [ Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

wdg wrote:
I think it may be a good winter - altho I don’t want to jinx anything.
There were 18 Snowys reported to the north of me - and none at an airport :)


How do you think they got there in the first place?  The red eye, over-nighter  :)

Me, I'm looking for my first northern hawk owl of the season.

Author:  wdg [ Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:46 am ]
Post subject: 

Northern Hawk and a Great Gray owls are the ones that show around here, besides Snowys.
I keep hoping for another winter like 2012-13 when there were easily 20+ Great Grays within 10 square miles.

Everyone’s images of the Snowys have been a joy to look at.
Thanks for posting.

Author:  Paul Fusco [ Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

One thing to realize about snowy owls and airports:
The bigger airports often have a shoot-first mentality when it comes to birds on or close to runways. Boston's Logan Airport has a bird-responsible practice with volunteers that trap and move any snowys that are on the runways. In fall the owls get moved to suitable areas south of the airport, and in slate winter/spring they are moved north of the airport.
I don't have current numbers but I believe JFK Airport in NY is one that would not be a good place for an owl to show up at. As was mentioned previously, snowy owls come from the wide open Arctic habitats that are similar to airports. They feel most at home around beaches, agricultural fields, marshes, and airports. Snowy owls like to perch on the ground. They are rarely seen perched in trees.

Paul

Author:  wdg [ Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Paul Fusco wrote:
One thing to realize about snowy owls and airports:
The bigger airports often have a shoot-first mentality when it comes to birds on or close to runways. Boston's Logan Airport has a bird-responsible practice with volunteers that trap and move any snowys that are on the runways. In fall the owls get moved to suitable areas south of the airport, and in slate winter/spring they are moved north of the airport.
I don't have current numbers but I believe JFK Airport in NY is one that would not be a good place for an owl to show up at. As was mentioned previously, snowy owls come from the wide open Arctic habitats that are similar to airports. They feel most at home around beaches, agricultural fields, marshes, and airports. Snowy owls like to perch on the ground. They are rarely seen perched in trees.

Paul


Lately the airport here has been more aggressive on birds in the surrounding areas - even off airport property. This is a concern for me. 
Fence posts, trees, hay bales, and the tall utility poles - favorite spots for the Snowys here. 
I’ve watched them hunt from tree tops on more than one occasion and wondered about why they go to the trees. As you pointed out they are tundra birds. 

Author:  SantaFeJoe [ Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Paul Fusco wrote:
One thing to realize about snowy owls and airports:
The bigger airports often have a shoot-first mentality when it comes to birds on or close to runways. Boston's Logan Airport has a bird-responsible practice with volunteers that trap and move any snowys that are on the runways. In fall the owls get moved to suitable areas south of the airport, and in slate winter/spring they are moved north of the airport.
.......

Paul


Part of the problem at Boston’s Logan Airport is mice. That’s probably what attracts the owls. This is probably true for many airports with all the outbuildings, hangars and heat of the runways to give the mice comfortable places to live and thrive.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/new-england/1862529-mice-passengers-areas-bos.html

Joe

Author:  OntPhoto [ Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do Snowy owls like the airport?

Image


Our snowy owls like the wide open and flat harvested cornfields.  Cornfields probably make good hiding places for rodents. For the last 6 years, every fall and winter we see a number of snowy owls take up residence in a number of fields in Ottawa's west end and this fall is no different.  Three to four so far including a white male that others have seen being chased by crows.

With a lack of snow on the ground, the owls are easy to spot.  Many people are photographing them during the day. Me, I tend to show up very late (for now) so catch them during the latter part of the day when they are closer to the road.  I imagine they are also closer to the road very early in the morning from past experience.

Two snowy owls eyeing each other late in the day at corner of Eagleson and Fallowfield in Ottawa.  The owls tend to perch very low along fence posts all day especially the one set against the orange sky.  Late in the day it tends to post itself much higher up.

Author:  OntPhoto [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do Snowy owls like the airport?

In Ottawa (Kanata - Stitsville) and surrounding areas, snowy owls love harvested cornfields.  There are up to 5 snowy owls already at the one location.  I photographed 4 within 30 minutes late in the day.  Missed the white male snowy others have seen and photographed along Brownlee.  Owls were seen along Rushmore (1), Eagleson (4), Fallowfield (2 & 3) and Akins. These are all adjoining streets. Many photogs have asked for permission and the landowners here are very friendly.  They only ask that people do not litter.  There are a few parcels of land that are still off-limits so when in doubt, ask permission.  That land on both sides of Rushmore is pretty much OK except for that one area where a home is located.


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