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Found: The Elusive West Duluth Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl in West Duluth

If you’ve followed Perfect Duluth Day closely for more than a year, you might know that my wife and I are the world’s laziest and lousiest birders. We have cheap binoculars and cameras, and basically just try to keep an eye out while we are engaged in an activity like cross-country skiing. Last year, during an owl irruption in the Duluth area, we saw zero owls. The only snowy owls we had seen in our lives, before today, were in captivity at the Lake Superior Zoo and the World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri.

We had a few failed missions last year, seeking the elusive snowy at Rice’s Point and the Bong Airport. After hearing reports of sightings near Duluth Business University and Wade Stadium this year, we decided to give it another try. We saw a bald eagle at Grassy Point within minutes, and figured that was a good sign. We knew from reading Sparky Stensaas’ blog post about Superior Snowy Owls that it’s generally easier to find them in a stupid place, like on a football scoreboard (in his case) or a piece of industrial equipment (in our case) than in a beautiful wilderness environment, so we were only moderately surprised to find our gal at Erie Pier in West Duluth, perched on a bulldozer.

5 Comments

brian

about 4 years ago

That owl looks ready to destroy some habitat.

mdy

about 4 years ago

The Bong Airport Owl is usually out after work sitting high up in a tree by the baseball field.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

Snowy Owls and Honking House

I took the shot above from farther away through one side of my binoculars. What's nice about that shot is you can see the second snowy owl on the top of the small hill just to the right of the owl on the bulldozer ... oh, and the Honking House is at the top of the frame.

Below is another closer version from a slightly different angle.

West Duluth Snowy Owl

And the final shot is from the opposite side, just for perspective on the location.

Snowy location

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

Snowy Weasal

I should also note that I saw another snowy owl four days later, but it was at the Moccasin Bar in Hayward.

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