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Another Snowy, out on the opposite bank of the Shorebird Pool again. Looks like it could be a different bird than the one that was here yesterday. He’s sitting next to the first Tree Swallow nestbox to the right of Marsh Discovery trail promenade — about 25 yards to the right of yesterday’s owl.
Best seen through a spotting scope, but DeKorte is very cold and windy today, so dress for the weather..
Jim Wright, who keeps this blog for the Meadowlands Commission, also writes a twice-monthly column for the South Bergenite. His most recent column is on Short-eared Owls:
This winter has been the season of the snowy owl, which has been visiting the Garden State from the Arctic in record numbers. But the Meadowlands have been blessed with frequent appearances by another invader from the north, the short-eared owl.
Most of these nocturnal raptors have apparently moved elsewhere but they put on a great show while they were here.
The best place to see the medium-sized owls was from Disposal Road (which runs from Schuyler Avenue in North Arlington to Valley Brook Avenue). All you had to do to find the owls was to look for the row of photographers with Hubble-telescope-size lenses aimed at the old Kingsland Landfill.
Because these owls like to hunt by flying low over the grasses, they are a great bird to watch and to photograph.
In fact, I would have written about them sooner, but the weeks of snowy weather have narrowed that stretch of Disposal and made for difficult driving and bird-watching conditions — especially with the avian paparazzi present.
Even so, the short-eared owl is one of NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse’s favorite birds.
They look so majestic when they fly,” he says. “It is really amazing to watch these owls hunt. I can watch them for hours, and I have.” Continue reading