Reader photos: snowy owl in NYC; flying sparrow and winter landscape in Idaho

December 9, 2013 • 7:42 am

Here are three lovely photos sent in by readers. The first is by Robert, who sent a photo of a snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) along with a note:

This photo, at great distance, was taken at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett [a park that was formerly an airport] by NY’s Jamaica Bay. That’s One World Trade Center rising in the distance, maybe 10 miles away.

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From reader Stephen Barnard, we get a song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) on the wing, and a beautiful winter landscape (click all photos to enlarge):

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19 thoughts on “Reader photos: snowy owl in NYC; flying sparrow and winter landscape in Idaho

  1. Thanks for reminding me of one of the reasons that I live in the South. For all of its political and social drawbacks (too numerous to mention!) the weather is usually a LOT better (read “warmer”) than most other places in the US…

  2. I’m so glad that you took the time to photograph a sparrow. Little brown birds are easily overlooked, but they have their charms. Fabulous that you caught it in flight!
    The owl is great too. A snowy owl is the only owl I have seen in the wild, it was quite a thrill. (It would have been even better if I hadn’t been driving at the time.)

      1. The Song Sparrow makes up for its drab appearance with its lovely and varied song in breeding season. I sometimes play back their songs with my iPhone and their reaction is very interesting.

  3. what a lucky shot of the snowy owl! by coincidence, I just posted about Floyd Bennet Field’s Natural Area and that it’d be nice if it was an official naturist-friendly park. That is if it remains a park at all. There are plans to build a massive gas pipeline on its territory.

      1. I’d love to see one. The most spectacular BIFs I can recall are Snowy Owls.

        North Carolina, though? That’s odd.

        1. It would sure look more at home in your neck o’ the woods!

          So far this year the irruption’s been largely in the NE; but in previous years there’s been some infiltration in the NW as well. Keep your eyes peeled. 😉 The joke with birders is that about 90% of the “Snowy Owls” you think you see turn out to be white plastic bags. I can only hope that’s less true in Idaho.

            1. Those shots are amazing! What a thing to witness.

              I look at Snowies with mixed emotions though, these days; they are only here due to significant duress on their normal wintering grounds. They tend to be in bad condition when they arrive, and many will not survive; most of the carcasses that are examined show the owls died of starvation.

              The peregrine/owl encounter is a stark example of one reason why; the rodent, etc., populations of our environs in winter are probably just adequate to support our local predators…

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