What’s the most popular bird in the United States? Well if you guessed Bald Eagle – you’d be right. But what about the second most popular bird? Believe it or not it is the Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus).
There’s a reason that the Snowy Owl is so popular. Firstly, raptors in general and owls specifically are some of the most popular birds worldwide and have been the subject of attention by poets, authors and artists going back to the cave paintings in Europe.
These owls are often used in movies and other popular culture to depict wisdom or strength. (Remember Hedwig in Harry Potter?) Those are admirable qualities that most people can identify with.
And the snowy owl has other qualities that make it attractive. Their white color makes them striking and easy to identify.
Another reason that people like snowy owls is that they are diurnal – you can see them at all hours of the day. The reclusive nature of most owls makes them hard to adore. Snowy’s are considered more approachable.
My favorite thing about snowy owls is that there are many stories, most of them true, about the feats of these magnificent birds.
No less than John James Audubon said he once saw a snowy owl lying at the edge of an ice hole where it waited for fish and caught them with its feet.
Another story about snowy owls tracks one young bird that flew from its nest in Victoria Island in the Canadian Arctic and flew all the way to Hudson Bay.
Next week, I’m going to talk about why birds should matter to all of us.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Avian Beauty. Thanks for listening.
Be sure to visit avianbeauty.com for more bird inspiration and information and please consider subscribing (for free) to our blog and podcast. I’m Scott Bourne. Happy birding.
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Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.
Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.