Got a phone call from Jory Langner (The Quiz Master over at 10,000 Birds) around 3:30pm this afternoon. It figures it would be the one day I forget my cell phone at home, but lucky for me Danika gave me a call at the office and passed the message along that a Snowy Owl had been spotted on the campus of the University at Albany.
Now the description seemed too good to be true. The bird was reported sitting in a Pine tree behind the Library. There were no other details. After a few moments of hemming and hawing, I told my co-worker I was leaving and drove up to the University (where I spent 5 years of my life), a drive of about 15 minutes.
I arrived on campus, parked illegally (shhh!) and headed over to the library, not expecting to find the bird or what not. I climbed up the stairs and saw a group of people standing under a Pine Tree. I walked around and sure enough was a Snowy Owl sitting about 15 feet off the ground, ignoring the throng of college students beneath it (all taking pictures with their cell phones). I saw Jory, thanked him for the message and then took in the owl in all its glory.
(By the way my camera and binoculars were in my other car, so no pictures)
The bird was active, stretching, preening, cleaning, looking around and showed every sign of being a normal, perfectly healthy owl. This was again a young bird, with lots of heavy black streaking, but unlike the one fished out of the Hudson River just over a week ago, this bird requires no human intervention.
I never would have guessed I would have seen not one, but two different Snowy Owls, only a few miles apart in the biggest City in Eastern New York State. Go figure.
***** Pictures of the owl can be found here. I guess a couple of other folk looked for the Owl after I left with no luck.