|Photo by Karen Beatty|
As our neighbors to the north are expecting more
snow this weekend, we have no snow in our Sandbridge
Beach forecast. However,
recent sightings of a Snowy Owl at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge have birders and nature enthusiasts excited about
its appearance. They have usually do not travel this far south, so there is no wonder the
excitement 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 and
National Audobon Society. They show snowy owl sightings for November only, for 2009 (a
non-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 marker
represents a single location, but doesn’t indicate anything about numbers of individuals. Notice
how 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, please
observe 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 repeatedly
approached and flushed by humans. Snowy owls favor very open habitats, such as fields, dunes, and
marshes, so it should be possible to get good views of them from a long distance away.
Want to visit Sandbridge and Back Bay National
Wildlife Refuge over a long weekend to conduct your own search for the Snowy Owl? A number of our
properties are currently offering three night mini stays through the winter. Call our reservations
team 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 days
a week at 855-601-2121.