Regarding Scott Clark's sighting of a possible Snowy Owl on Dec. 18th:

At 11:15 AM on Dec. 18th my son Jon told me that while driving on Clearwater 
Dr. just east of 494 and the Crosstown interchange he saw what he was sure 
was a Snowy Owl.  The bird was standing to the west on an open hillside 
about 60 yards from the road as he drove by at 30mph.  Realizing that this 
was an unusual sighting, and knowing thay he would be grilled by his dad and 
uncle Jim, he turned the car around and drove back to see the bird more 
closely.  As he approached the still sitting bird it took wing and glided 
behind the car and sailed over to the east side of Clearwater Dr. where a 
large parking lot and open field run parallel to the Crosstown Highway. 
This was the last he saw of the bird.  About 2:00 PM I searched around the 
area with no luck to relocate the owl.  Though not a "birder" Jon has always 
had very good observation skills.  He has seen this species a number of 
times in the past.  He mentioned that the bird was mostly white with some 
dark spotting on the head. The round head and body shape were noticed.
Scott Clark's sighting was only about a mile south from where Jon saw his 
bird. Scott didn't say what time he saw the bird, but it seems likely they 
may have seen the same owl.  Hopefully this will help the angst that has 
plagued Scott and also satisfy his avuncular CBC Coordinator

Donn Mattsson









----- Original Message ----- 
From: "SCOTT M CLARK" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 10:34 AM
Subject: [mou-net] Possible Snowy Owl


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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