The 4F (-15.5C) did not stop me from hiking 1/2 mile along a power line into the forest shortly after sunrise. I was rewarded by being allowed to watch this Great Gray Owl hunt for its breakfast from a distance of only 20 yards. Occasionally it would change its hunting perches, but never moving very far from me. Without my friend, Greg, who was standing on a road with his high powered scope it would have been difficult to find this bird. His directions to hike another 400 yards through the deep snow rewarded me with be allowed this fantastic sight. The owl did not mind my presence, occasionally changing hunting perches that were near where I was standing.
The early morning was perfect for finding an owl. The overcast skies and calm winds made the probability of finding an owl hunting after sunrise much higher. (note: Great Gray Owls hunt in the winter by hearing their prey moving underneath the snow, and they do not like the bright glaring light off the snow which is present on clear days)
We also enjoyed seeing the Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls at MaryLou’s feeders at the northwest corner of the Sax-Zim Bog.
Great Gray Ghost of the Forest (Great Gray Owl)