Snowy Owl map

Drew Weber|

Below is a map that birders have been collaborating on showing approximate locations of Snowy Owls across the US and Canada during this already exceptional irruptive season. Here in Pennsylvania, most Snowy Owl records come in January and February so we may get some in the coming months as well. If you come across a Snowy Owl, it is always an interesting exercise to attempt to age and sex the owls. Most birds can be aged and sexed in the field with reasonable looks. The key differences are in the amounts of dark edging on feathers, thickness of tail bands and presence of extensive white bib. For a good overview, read Kevin McGowan’s overview that features several specimens for comparison.


View Snowy Owls in the Upper US and Canada, 2011-12 in a larger map

About the Author

Drew Weber

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Drew is the founder and editor of Nemesis Bird and now works to curate some of the best content the web has to offer on birding and ornithology from an energetic crew of ornithologists, field researchers, tour leaders and photographers. Drew is originally from PA but now lives in central New York where he is enjoying the long and snowy winters. He has done various bird jobs including bird surveys for the 2nd PA Breeding Bird Atlas, tracked saw-whet owls from dusk to dawn with Scott Weidensaul and counted hawks for several years for Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. His master's research at Penn State University focused on grassland birds and their relationships with different agricultural practices. Drew is an avid lister, especially on smaller scales, and enjoys adding new birds to county, state and life lists. A sucker for competitions, he has placed 2nd in the World Series of Birding (with Nemesis Birders Andy McGann and Mike Lanzone) and is the part of the winning team for the Onondaga Audubon Bird-a-thon in Central NY and the Shaver's Creek Birding Cup (2 years running with Nemesis Birder Alex Lamoreaux). He also enjoys digiscoping and making apps for birders. He is project manager for the North American Rare Bird Alert and coordinates the development of BirdsEye and BirdsEye Hotspots. Some topics that really interest him are migration, bird distributions and vagrancy.