We have lots and lots of snow today in New York City, and I've been hanging out at home editing my photos of the incredible bird I was blessed to visit on Staten Island just before and after Christmas.
This was the first snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) I had seen in the wild. (I have visited a snowy owl in the Bronx Zoo.) I was walking on the sand on the beach looking for the owl but seeing only gulls, when I turned and glimpsed what I first thought was an overturned paint bucket. What a joy to find this largest of the North American owls hanging out on a cold beach in New York City! I spent three and a half hours watching the owl, the first two hours pretty much by myself, and this video, although a little long, reflects the time I spent sitting on the beach and the burrs as the bird perched on the sand. If you are not as fascinated by the owl's turning her head 180 degrees one way, and then 180 degrees the other, you can skip to about minute 1:30 to see the bird poop and then walk around, then head to minute 14 to see those golden eyes as the sun starts to set. (I returned twice after Christmas to see the owl again, and will post those photos and videos soon.)
I took hundreds of photos on December 20, but these are my favorites.