By Christopher B. Daly 

Like many an apex predator, Snowy Owls are hard to take your eyes off. They are big, powerful, alert, and deadly. They are also gorgeous and — usually — pretty rare. In New England, we get to see them on a pretty regular basis, under certain conditions. If a fair number stream southward out of the Arctic north and if you are near the coast and if it’s winter, you might have a chance of seeing one. When you do see one, the sighting stays with you. Those yellow eyes are haunting, and the bird’s whole posture seems to say: Hey, I’m here, and I don’t give a shit about you. I’m not afraid of you, and I am intent on doing something else, so you go your way and I’ll go mine. 

This winter is going down as a season of record irruption for snowies, as documented in this great mapping project by Project Snowstorm. A hat-tip to NPR for this story.

Photo: Tom Johnson

Photo: Tom Johnson

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