[va-bird] Saturday Night Live: Snowy and Short-eared Owls at Dulles Airport

  • From: VBKitchens@xxxxxxx
  • To: va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 23:07:54 EST

VA Birders,

    In rereading other postings about the SNOWY OWL at Dulles Airport, 
Loudoun Co., I did not see any mention of the SHORT-EARED OWL which we also saw 
there Saturday evening (Jan. 28).  The owls were well worth the $5.00 parking 
we paid.

    For anyone who might be interested, Betty Kilgore and I entered the lot 
at 4:40 pm, and we were parked on the roof and out looking at the SNOWY 
OWL--which was then still a distant speck, even in the best of scopes--about 5 
minutes later.  About 5:00 pm, a SHORT-EARED OWL was spotted flying low over 
grassy strip between the runways behind the FedEx and UPS planes.  About 5:15 
someone said the Snowy Owl was flying, and I watched it fly toward us thru my 
scope.  As noted in other postings, it came and landed on one of the light 
fixtures by the post office, where it remained for a few minutes, until it was 
spooked by the emergency equipment sent out to await the arrival of a small 
plane (which we suspect may have been having some problem landing--fortunately, 
it appeared to land O.K., and then the equipment left).  Lucky for us, the 
Snowy Owl flew even closer and landed on top of the tail of the FedEx plane, 
we watched it until 5:30 pm.  Then we got in the car and drove down to the 
exit gate, where we happily paid our $5.00 parking fee, leaving just 5 minutes 
before our hour was up!

    Many photos were taken of the Snowy Owl perched up on the FedEx plane, 
and I hope that some good photos will be submitted to "NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS" as 
well as to "VIRGINIA BIRDS."  Also, I'd like to add my thanks to Sue Heath, 
who did an outstanding job of reporting the owl, and providing directions (with 
permission from  Airport Operations) to the location for viewing it.

Good birding
Val Kitchens
Arlington, VA
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  • » [va-bird] Saturday Night Live: Snowy and Short-eared Owls at Dulles Airport