Snowy owls have returned to Seattle and been spotted in such diverse neighborhoods as Capitol Hill, Roanoke Park, near Fred Meyer on Lake City Way, and Edmonds. Ellen Blackstone at BirdNote cautions "Many of the owls are hungry and stressed, so please don't stress them further by approaching them too closely".
Here's a BirdNote story, with video about Snowy Owls that explains more about what is going on with these ethereal birds.
In one of those lovely moments of synchronicity, I'd just read Verlyn Klinkenborg's evocative piece on owls in the New York Times, when I heard that owls are arriving here. Is there a better nature writer than this guy? (Perhaps Diane Ackerman is as evocative- I'm deep in her beautiful new book Dawn Light - more to come on this..)
Here's a quote from Klinkenborg's "The Owlish Night":
"A bird form slants silently across the highway, just above the arc of the headlights. Impossible to say what color it is, but it is an owl. It is all I ever see of owls up around my farm, that swift, peripheral, ghosting drift across an opening in the trees."
"I would like a holiday when all the hidden creatures around the farm
would make themselves apparent just for an hour or two. They step out
from their camouflage, from their hidden bowers, from their holes and
burrows and nests and recesses. The owls would surely be among them." Read the whole piece here.
We have a moment, right now in the city, to keep our eyes peeled in the hope of catching sight of this creature that seems more spirit than bird....can you believe the absolute purity of those white feathers? Let alone the spark in those shrewd and ancient-looking golden eyes...
Thanks to Ellen and BirdNote for keeping us up to date on our avian friends, and to Rodney Campbell for the photo...