Snowy Owl Encounter

Posted by Sandi

I’ve read with excitement about the rare influx of  snowy owls to our region this year. The Journal reported that a pair were even spotted a few weeks ago on San Juan Island!

Snowy owl at Boundary Bay BC

At 24" tall, the snowies are our largest North American owl. Arctic summers have daylight almost 24-7 and the owls are equipped to hunt in the daytime.

Most of the time they live in the Arctic, but every four to six years the young ones fly south looking for food. This irruption cycle happens when their main food source (lemmings) surge in population and the owls have more babies than the environment will support.

Boundary Bay Regional Park signWhen I heard large numbers of these magnificent raptors were hanging out at Boundary Bay Regional Park  just 20ish miles north of Orcas (as the owl flies), I jumped at the first opportunity to hop across the border.

Boundary Bay is about a three hour drive from Anacortes. We went on a weekday and our border crossing wait time was only 10 minutes.

The bloggers were all saying the best place to see the owls is on the Dyke Trail 72nd Street access point, so that’s where we headed. Sure enough, just a few steps from the parking area there was a group of owls — called a ‘parliament’ – hanging out on driftwood about 30′ from the trail. Farther away we could see several other groups and solitary owls. 

We spent a few wonderful (and chilly) hours at the park while I got my owl fix. We also saw numerous eagles, hawks and herons. But oh those owls with their captivating yellow eyes. What a treat to see these creature. Here are a few shots by my photographer husband, Bob. Enjoy! [slideshow]

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Filed under Nature

3 Responses to Snowy Owl Encounter

  1. Great shots! What a beautiful experience!

  2. Susan Weiss

    Thanks for posting these. I live near Cattle Point on SJI and apparently missed seeing the two – these are awesome shots. We do have a Golden Eagle now, so it sort of makes of for it.