As special as the Snowy Owl incursion is this winter, Snowys are not the only owls around. With the start of the Christmas Bird Count Season 11 days ago, the attention of birders shifts to finding all the nocturnal raptors possible. The Cape is fortunate to have good numbers of several owl species. A small owl called Screech Owl is fairly common and widespread on the Cape. Using woodpecker holes and natural cavities as well as man-made boxes, these attractive birds come in two morphs, or color phases: red or gray.
Snowy Owls are an irruptive species. Rarely, an invasion or irruption will occur and several or more may arrive as they move south in search of food. The entire northeast is currently involved in “the mother of all irruptions” as an unprecedented incursion of these powerful and awe-inspiring owls is happening as you hear this. The species has been reported from beaches all over the Cape and Islands and it seems no beach or headland in the region has not had owls reported this past week. This “irruption” is already of historic proportions.