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Snowy Owl spotted in Sandbridge!

Photo by Karen Beatty
As our neighbors to the north are expecting moresnow this weekend, we have no snow in our SandbridgeBeach forecast.  However,recent sightings of a Snowy Owl at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge have birders and nature enthusiasts excited aboutits appearance.  They have usually do not travel this far south, so there is no wonder theexcitement level is high for those who track this bird!
The images above are from searches on eBird, the online database of bird sightings run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology andNational Audobon Society.  They show snowy owl sightings for November only, for 2009 (anon-invasion year), 2011 (the last big invasion), and 2013.  Others are found later in the winter,of course, but these are restricted to November to allow comparison to 2013.  Each markerrepresents a single location, but doesn't indicate anything about numbers of individuals.  Noticehow this year's flight is shifted sharply to the east, including observations on Newfoundland and Bermuda. 
If you are lucky enough to see one of these majestic birds, pleaseobserve it from a respectful distance.  Many of the snowy owls moving south are inexperienced,young birds, already stressed by hunger, and it may hurt their chances of survival if they are repeatedlyapproached and flushed by humans.  Snowy owls favor very open habitats, such as fields, dunes, andmarshes, so it should be possible to get good views of them from a long distance away.
Want to visit Sandbridge and Back Bay NationalWildlife Refuge over a long weekend to conduct your own search for the Snowy Owl?  A number of ourproperties are currently offering three night mini stays through the winter.  Call our reservationsteam to find a Sandbridge Beach Vacation Rental with a fireplace warm up after your birding adventures. Don't forget your zoom lens!
Taking reservations 24 hours a day, 7 daysa week at 855-601-2121.
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