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Tue., April 17, 2012, 2:11 p.m.

Snow’s gone from area, but not snowy owls

Snowy Owl that was still lingering in the Spokane region on April 14, 2012. (Jamie Dahlke)
Snowy Owl that was still lingering in the Spokane region on April 14, 2012. (Jamie Dahlke)

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Most people interested in birds know there was an unusually high number of snowy owls that migrated south from the arctic to winter along the northern United States this season.

People were devoting a great deal of effort into taking advantage of the opportunity to see the majestic owls.

But two Spokane birders stumbled into one the other day, a winter leftover among spring migrants.  Here's their photographic proof above, and the report below.

 My husband and I were driving home from taking pictures of the upper falls when the sun was coming up on Saturday, April 14, 2012. As we turned on to Lincoln Road we always watch the power poles because we sometimes see a red-tail hawk sitting there. However, this time we noticed a female Snowy Owl on the pole.

We hurried home to change out lenses. Then drove back to where we saw the Snowy Owl. We spent time earlier this year looking for Snowy Owls over around the Davenport, Washington area without any luck the last few years. This year the Snowy Owl came to us.

Snowy Owls come down to our area in the winter and go back north to the colder area in the spring. This bird is probably a female as adult males are totally white. Picture was taken with a Canon T1i with a 400 mm Canon L lens. We used a tripod.

Jamie Dahlke
Spokane, WA

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Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.