Outdoors

Snowy owls still clinging to Eastern Washington

A snowy owl perches near Highway 28 just 8 miles from Odessa, Wash., on May 20, 2013 -- unusually late into the spring for the winter migrant from the arctic. (Jack Nisbet)
A snowy owl perches near Highway 28 just 8 miles from Odessa, Wash., on May 20, 2013 -- unusually late into the spring for the winter migrant from the arctic. (Jack Nisbet)

UPDATED May 24, 2013

WILDLIFE WATCHING — While most snowy owls that migrated to the lower 48 states during winter are well on their way back to their arctic breeding grounds, at least one is still hanging out in Eastern Washington.

Last week, a snowy owl — standing out like a white beacon against the spring landscape — was reported by Inland Northwest birders in Whitman County.

Last month, Spokane author and naturalist Jack Nisbet reported seeing a snowy owl just north of U.S. Highway 2 in Lincoln County.

On Monday (May 20), Nisbet, traveling again in Lincoln County, snapped the photo above of a snowy owl — possibly the same one — 8 miles west of Odessa on Hwy 28.

Today (May 24), Carl Lundblad of Moscow made a repeat sighting of a snowy owl in Whitman County. It was in a field well south of Campbell Road two-tenths of a mile west of Farmington Road just south of Tekoa. 

Some birders speculate the late-to-migrate bird could be sick or injured rather than smitten with the scablands.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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