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Snowy Owls from NY to NJ

Alex Lamoreaux|

Another view of the Jones Beach owl (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)
Our first bird of the trip - a Snowy Owl at 11pm (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Our first bird of the trip – a Snowy Owl at 11pm (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

It’s no secret that Snowy Owls are almost everywhere this winter. My friends and I went on a 5 day trip for New Years and were able to see 8 different owls without going out of our way! In fact the first bird of the trip was a Snowy I spotted along the Jones Beach Ocean Parkway perched at the top of a roadside cedar when I was turning my car around to go back for gas at 11:30pm (eBird checklist)! Snowy Owls come in a variety of plumage types, ranging from pure white to very heavily marked with bold black bars. Although I have seen a nice variety elsewhere during this irruption, on our trip we only encountered moderately-marked birds. Below is a sampling of some of the owls we saw.

The Snowy I was most excited to see - my first in Cape May County! Roosting along the dunes at Stone Harbor, NJ. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

The Snowy I was most excited to see – my first in Cape May County! Roosting along the dunes at Stone Harbor, NJ (eBird checklist). (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Another view of the Stone Harbor Snowy Owl. (Photo by Alex Lamroeaux)

Another view of the Stone Harbor Snowy Owl. (Photo by Alex Lamroeaux)

This Snowy Owl was roosting in the dunes at Jones Beach on Long Island (eBird checklist). We were also able to see him the next morning. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

This Snowy Owl was roosting in the dunes at Jones Beach on Long Island (eBird checklist). We were also able to see him the next morning. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Another view of the Jones Beach owl (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Another view of the Jones Beach owl (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Another view of the Jones Beach owl (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Another view of the Jones Beach owl (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

This Snowy Owl was along the Wildlife Drive at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in NJ (eBird checklist). (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

This Snowy Owl was along the Wildlife Drive at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in NJ (eBird checklist). (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

This very distant owl was perched in the marsh out from the Cedar Beach Marina on Long Island, NY (eBird checklist). (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

This very distant owl was perched in the marsh out from the Cedar Beach Marina on Long Island, NY (eBird checklist). (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

About the Author

Alex Lamoreaux

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Alex Lamoreaux has been an avid birder and naturalist since he was a youngster, growing up exploring the farmland and forested ridges near Hershey, Pennsylvania. He attended Hershey High School and Penn State University. Alex has worked on wildlife research projects, ranging from Whimbrel along the coast of Virginia to Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the desert southwest. Alex loves to share his knowledge of nature, as well as help to bring the birding community together to share the enjoyment that spending time in nature has to offer. Alex has helped to organize and coordinate birding events in his home state of Pennsylvania and beyond. He has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America, and South Africa and is currently pursuing nature tour guiding, as well as continuing to refine his passion for wildlife photography. Contact Info for Alex Lamoreaux: aslamoreaux@gmail.com (717) 943-7086

  • I’m in Africa, and so joining the Snowy Owl sighting excitement is not a choice for me. But I’ve been interested in it. They look so stunning that one can’t help but be interested.

    I take it that the Owls are heading further south because of the dramatically colder weather you guys are having. But why are there so many – was the summer also unusual in some way that caused more breeding? Or are they just easy to see?

  • John Mueller

    I’m from California, but will be visiting the DC area the last week of January. Is there anyone around who might want to help me that weekend find a snowy owl for my life list?