Flying... (south for some time).
Have a good time so far....and after that of course:)
Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa). 28.2.2009, Tornio.
Visited some days ago Ove Stefansson lappugglan.se/ in Boden, Sverige. He like me was wondering why this winter so many Great Greys have come to the open places. They mostly do that in spring, may-april, but not in the middle winter like now. In Sweden have been seen over 50 Great Greys and they most likely all have reported from open areas. And all owls O.S has controlled have been in good shape, just like mine. Mostly in spring owls in open areas have been thin and lacking food... And our theory is that owls come to the open areas only because there is more food than in the forests and it`s more effective to hunt where the scenery is wider...even though it`s not the safest and most natural biotop for them. But maybe only place to survive over bad times.
This huge bird is mostly feathers. Weight just about 1000 grams. Females are somewhat heavier & bigger. Wings as spreaded over 1.5 m.
When I got my ringing licence 1989 I swored I`d never would actively even try to ring Great Grey Owls - it`s too hot with the mosquitoes in the summer and too cold in the winter. Well it always doesn`t go as planned...now ringing any other specie is just doing something while waiting Great Grey`s:)
Happened to be yesterday (and also today...) as an accident in a place where it was possible to take hunting pics from Great Grey`s. One of my oldest dreams came true. There we lied french, belgium, swedish & finnish newspaperman & O-P & Harri from Finnature www.finnature.fi/ watching this big lady catching served food from about 0.5 meter from our eyes.
On the cover of todays local newspaper 28.2.2009 Pohjolan Sanomat there`s a pic from this owl just about one meter from my nose landing to the ground. First time they put a pic from my behind to the front page:)