WILDLIFE WATCHING -- A bird that migrated all the way south from the arctic helped Kootenai County birders break a record on Monday.
Coeur d'Alene Audubon Society members working on the annjual Big Year challenge for Kootenai County spotted a snowy owl -- the 208th bird species verified in the county since Jan. 1.
The previous record was 207 species set in 2004, said Shirley Sturts, count coordinator.
Prompted by an unverified report of a snowy owl at Tubbs Hill earlier in November, Sturts joined Ed and Kris Buchler to scope out Rathdrum Prairie on Monday.
"We found an adult sitting on top of irrigation sprinklers on Huetter Ave north of Wyoming Ave.," Sturts said.
"To get there go west from Highway 95 on Hayden Ave. to Huetter Ave. or east from Highway 41 on Hayden Ave. to Huetter Ave. Then turn north on Huetter, crossing over Wyoming. The irrigation sprinklers are in a field on the east side of Huetter, a short distance north of Wyoming Ave. Wyoming Ave. (running east/west) is on both sides of the airport. The Snowy Owl was west of the airport. Huetter runs north/south.
Grant County update: "Matt Yawney of Ephrata, doing a county Big Year, has found 235 species in Grant County so far this year!" says Inland NW birder Charles Swift.