Mar 6

Snowy Owl Return Season

Snowy Owl
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Snowy Owl
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“Quand le hibou chante, La nuit est silence."

When the owl sings, the night is silent.

~ Charles de Leusse, The Tales of the Night: 50 Tales, 2019

In North America, large numbers of Snowy Owls migrate south of their breeding grounds during Arctic winters to southern Canada and the northern U.S. This migration is often referred to as an incursion, irruption, invasion, great flight, nomadism, vagrant migration, and wandering. By March or April, they begin flying back to Arctic tundra. During the irruption migration of winter 2013/2014 from the Great Lakes to the northeast U.S., at least nine Snowy Owls boarded a ship during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The cruising owls stayed on board until arriving off the coast of Spain, France and eventually the Netherlands. 🦉

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this is a tartan representation of the beautiful Snowy Owl. This design reflects the designer's love of birds, snow and Northern Canada.

The snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a large, white owl, native to Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia. Younger snowy owls start with darker plumage, which turns lighter as they get older. Males are almost all white, while females have more flecks of gray plumage.

Snowy owls nest in the Arctic tundra of the northernmost stretches of Alaska, Canada, and Eurasia, though they have been reported as far south as the American states of Texas, Georgia, the American Gulf states, southernmost Russia, and northern China. They are attracted to open areas like coastal dunes and prairies that appear somewhat similar to tundra. 

In North America, very large numbers of Snowy Owls migrate south of their breeding grounds during Arctic winters to southern Canada and the northern U.S. (though remain in the Arctic).   This is often referred to as an incursion, irruption, invasion, great flight, nomadism, vagrant migration, and wandering.  By Mar or Apr, Snowy Owls begin to move north, back to Arctic tundra.  Occasionally, large scale movements of owls occur (which some scientists believe are linked to the lemming population, their major food) though this phenomenon is still not well understood. During the irruption migration of winter 2013/2014 from the Great Lakes to the northeast U.S., at least nine Snowy Owls boarded a ship during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.  Apparently,  the owls stayed on board until arriving off the coast of Spain, France and eventually the Netherlands. 

Although owls in general have figured in favorite works of literature, such as Archimedes, Merlyn's familiar in T.H. White's The Once and Future King, Master Glimfeather in C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair, and 'Owl,' from A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, the snowy owl has more recently risen to literary character owl royalty as Hedwig, Harry Potter's pet owl.

For a fairly recent video capture of a snowy owl flying towards a traffic camera, click the snowy owl!

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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