For Christmas this year my sister-in-law decided to get her nieces and nephews an animal adoption kit from the World Wildlife Fund. She gave them the catalog last year and the circled what the wanted to adopt. Our son chose an Anaconda (I am pretty sure he wanted the biggest stuffed animal they offered… and the thing is huge!). Our daughter chose the Macaw and received a beautiful Blue Macaw and Scarlet Macaw.
This year they sat down at the website and made a huge list of the animals they wanted to adopt. Not surprisingly we had a lot of birds on the list! Our daughter chose the beautiful Snowy Owl and our son chose the Sockeye Salmon!
Snowy instantly became a part of the family and goes everywhere with our girl. She sleeps with Snowy every night and she has a special role in many pretend escapades that go on in our home.
During the holidays I saw in a Michigan Birding group on Facebook that someone had reported a Snowy Owl sighting in Muskegon the morning we were heading through town for a Christmas party! I knew our daughter would LOVE to see a real one so we made our best effort to try to find it. We struck out that time, but I kept checking the Michigan sightings on Ebird to see if another opportunity came up.
We got lucky near the end of February when a few Snowy Owls were reported in Gratiot County, only a mile from my Grandmother’s house! We made the trek on a Sunday afternoon when the snow had melted and may be our last shot this winter to see one before they head back to the arctic.
The blue dots are where the Snowy Owls were sighted. We were blessed with great weather but were almost ready to give up after spotting a number of grocery bags, leftover clumps of snow and litter. I was ready to head back to the main road when I spotted a bag pretty far off that looked like it was walking. I grabbed the binoculars and was able to confirm that it was a SNOWY OWL!! The red dot in the center is where we found the Snowy Owl!
We got a little closer, parked the car, rolled down the windows and watched as he flew across the road, and sat in the field to watch us for a bit. At one point my son asked if he was dreaming. It was awesome. After a while (about 15 minutes) he flew off further into the field and became a tiny little white speck. Who knew finding a bird would be so amazing. We took some pictures (these are cropped in nice and close, but he was pretty far away).
To learn more about Snowy Owl and Ebird, check out these links –
Talk to you soon!