I was picking up a friend, so after I did that, I returned to the picnic area to see if the Snowy was still there. For the third time this winter, I lucked out. The Record-Eagle recently had an article on snowy owl sightings, so I guess I'm not alone in seeing them.
The bird was facing away from me as I drew closer. It appeared lighter in coloring than the other two birds I'd seen and I wondered if it might be a male.
It was behaving normally for Snowy Owls with swiveling its head from side to side looking for rodent prey. With 14 vertebrae in its neck, the Snowy is capable of turning its head an amazing 270 degrees. This was the first time, however, I'd see it on a perch so low to the ground.
The Snowy turned directly towards me and I could see it had its third eyelid up protecting its eyes from the bright sunlight. Seeing it from the front, I wasn't so sure it was a male because its markings were similar to the female I'd photographed a few days before.
There is so much to enjoy in watching the Snowy Owl. Its immense size and uniqueness in the bird world is amazing! I also love the striking coloring and the fluffy white feathers framing its face and nose.
But it's always those brilliant yellow eyes that grab me the most. Piercing and sinister-appearing, the eyes let one know this bird isn't a critter to be reckoned with.