Friday, January 6, 2012

Hedwig's Peeps are Here! No really!

Snowy Owls are making a practically magical visit to the United States this winter. According to Dirk Lammars of the Associated Press, this year  there have been sightings reported across our continent, with thirty birds spotted at Lake Andes in South Dakota alone. I have to agree with ornithologist Mark Robbins, this is "mind numbing" indeed. They typically make rare appearances in our northern states,  but this is like coast to coast, all over the place, lots of them.

When I lived in northern Indiana, very near the Michigan border, we would catch sight of one snowy
owl on my step-father's rural property every few years. He would sit atop a fence post on the back of
our property and hunt, but only when the snow was deepest and most everyone, except those of us crazy enough to snow shoe out and bird watch, were huddled snug  beside their wood stoves staying dry. He didn't care for interruption, and he would fly off and disappear the moment he realized he'd been spotted. Still, on these rare occasions, we always felt like we had been visited by some magical spirit, and I'm talking years before Harry Potter and Hedwig ever entered my imaginings. I never wondered why Rowling chose this species for Harry, because I felt as if I already knew. Nothing says otherworldly quite like the beauty of the Snowy Owl.

So, happy magic to those of you spying Hedwig's peeps. I hope it fills you with wonder for our world.

3 comments:

annie said...

I love Snowy owls! I remember always being drawn to the one at the Brookfield Zoo growing up... and feeling so sorry for it during the summer months, as surely she rather be in the snow! Let me know if you see any.

Andi said...

They are really breathtaking creatures.

Amanda_Corlies said...

Sadly, I'm probably too far south to see one, but I'll be watching, just in case. It will be seriously wild if they show up in Virginia, too.