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December 2010


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Rare Bird Alert <[log in to unmask]>
SCOTT M CLARK <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 19 Dec 2010 09:34:46 -0700
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SCOTT M CLARK <[log in to unmask]>
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This has plagued me for 24 hours. Yesterday after completing my section of Eden Prairie for the CBC I believe that I saw a Snowy Owl. As my avuncular CBC Coordinator stated we would need complete documentation and I don't have it. I was traveling east on Hwy 5, and just before the 494 interchange I saw a white bird on the south side of the road. It was in flight, about forty yards from the car and about fifty feet in the air, close enough for a good non-binocular look. My birding radar was confused since white birds are gull types, leucistics, etc. This bird was ghostly white in the gray day and was "fat" in body and had a fat cylinder shape to it. Due to the shape and general feel it wasn't a gull, hawk, etc. It was flying slow, slow wing beats and by the time I was past it, it effectively flew past the back of the car north. I recognized that by going north on 494 I may see it again and then realized that the shape was an owl.  By this time it was on the west side of 494 ( northwest quadrant of 494 and 5) and was obviously to far away to see color, etc. However, it was hunting in a harrier pattern, with a short few flaps and a glide, all the while circling low to the ground. The wings were much broader in shape and pattern than a harrier also. The bird circled with a slight dihedral. Attempts to relocate were not successful. If you are in the area keep a lookout and I have posted a Starbucks gift card as a reward for its sighting. Not documentable but I am 99.99% sure, I know that only Steve Weston can properly identify at 60 mph. Scott

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