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Snowy Owl surprise

I was out birding yesterday (10/29) and had the good fortune of coming across a Snowy Owl south of Bellevue.  The bird was sitting on a light pole near the intersection of Highway 34 and Harlan Lewis Road.  Photos, below.

Finding a Snowy Owl in Nebraska is always a big deal, but it is usually something one hopes for in December or January, not October.   In fact, yesterday’s Snowy Owl is the earliest to appear in Nebraska in fall by eight days.   There are also very few reports anywhere this far south this early.  Below is a map from eBird.org showing all October reports.  Red icons are reports from this year.

With Red Crossbills and Common Redpolls already showing up in the state and now a Snowy Owl, the winter birding in Nebraska has already been better than most years (and, yes, it is only October).  Hopefully the excitement continues.

Good birding!

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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