There have been numerous sightings of these spectacular birds throughout coastal Massachusetts in recent weeks. Each fall, hundreds if not thousands of snowy owls depart their breeding grounds in the arctic region of northern Canada to spend the winter months down here. Wildlife Photographer Paul Malenfant of Ipswich captured this photo on Crane Beach earlier this month. Paul’s photograph was one of five selected for recognition in MassAudubon’s annual “Picture This: Your Great Outdoors” photo contest.
Back in January, Jim Behnke published an article in The Cricket entitled, “The Snowy Owls of Crane Beach” that offered an in-depth look into the species.
And if you go to Crane Beach or Plum Island in search of snowy owls, please remember to keep a safe distance from the birds and never approach them. Harassment by well-meaning observers is one of the greatest threats to the birds’ health and well-being during their temporary stay in Massachusetts.