Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Snowy Irruption: Snowy Owl

In years when the lemming population is scarce, Snowy Owls will often fly south in search of food. However, this year the irruption was attributed to overcrowding on the wintering grounds due to a very successful breeding season. Historic high lemming populations in the Arctic have allowed females to produce up to 12 eggs! For the last three weeks, at least four Snowy Owls have been present outside of Point Pelee National Park. They have been seen regularly in the farm fields on concessions C, D, and E. These birds can be spotted easily as they perch on the ground, and the conspicuous white plumage highly contrasts against the black soil. This has been an exceptional year for Snowy Owls in Southern Ontario with many birds being reported.


  1. I have heard that this year's Snowy Owl irruption is not due to poor lemming populations. Apparently Snowy Owls had an extremely good breeding season, so this large population increase caused many individuals to travel farther from the arctic this winter. I haven't actually looked into this, but its a rumour I've heard floating around...

    Nice shot, Tom.