Date: 12/6/17 6:07 am From: Dan Jackson <DanJackson...> Subject: [wisb] 5 Snowy Owls Near La Crosse
On Monday morning, the refuge manager for the La Crosse District of the Upper Mississippi National Fish and Wildlife Refuge spotted an immature female Snowy Owl at the refuge Visitor Center on Brice Prairie (west of Onalaska off of County ZN. By late afternoon, 2 more had been seen. Yesterday, three birds were perched in the parking lot of the maintenance building at dawn. When refuge employees picked up equipment for the day's projects, the birds spooked and flew into the corn field just to the north.
At dusk, while a few of us were watching those 3 birds, we were surprised to see 2 other birds fly by making a total of 5. At least 2 were immature females and 2 were lightly barred and were either immature males or adult females.
The birds got active between 4:30 and dark and moved up from their perches on the ground to perch on signs, posts, tractors, telephone poles, and other vantage points - making them easier to see.
Someone asked if they might migrate as family groups and could these birds be related? Has anyone done genetic testing of groups of birds found at a single location before (Duluth Airport, etc.)?