Ready to pack away your winter gear and head off for a warm-weather getaway that offers balmy breezes and bright sunshine instead of snowbanks and gray skies?
|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.