Voyages North

22 September 2017 | Posted in Seattle
08 September 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
18 August 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
17 August 2017 | Olympia
22 August 2016 | posted at Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
08 July 2016 | Posted at Ucluelet
08 July 2016 | Posted at Ucluelet

Snowy Owl on Shilshole Breakwater

11 November 2012 | Shilshole Marina, Seattle
Elsie Hulsizer
We were returning from a chilly weekend of sailing to Poulsbo and Port Madison, when Steve spotted an owl on the land side of the Shilshole Breakwatrer, roughly opposite G dock. I thought immediately that it might be a snowy owl but wasn't sure as I had never actually seen one before.

I was focusing my camera to get a better, second picture when a crow started dive-bombing the owl. The owl flew a short distance away and appeared to try to protect itself by hiding behind a rock.
snowy owl and crow

When we tied up in our slip we got out our bird book and identified it as a snowy owl. The blindingly white round head without obvious ears was the giveaway. Later I looked them up on the internet http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Snowy_Owl/id and learned that the black speckles mean the bird is either a young male, which will lose the black speckled feathers as it ages, or a female.

A year ago the Seattle Times reported that the northwest was having an irruption of snowy owls http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2017100661_snowies27m.html. The owls were expected to hang around only until March so this must be a return. Looks like the irruption is repeating itself.
Comments
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Make/Model: Annapolis 44 sloop
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Steve and Elsie Hulsizer (author of Glaciers, Bears and Totems and Voyages to Windward)
About:
Elsie and Steve Hulsizer have sailed northwest waters since arriving in Seattle via sailboat from Boston in 1979. [...]
Extra:
2017: local cruising including South Puget Sound and San Juan Islands 2016:north up West Coast VI, across QC Sound to central BC coast 2015: trip to SE Alaska 2014: Seymour and Belize Inlets through Nakwakto Rapids 2013: SE Alaska and back. 2012: from Seattle up the west coast of Vancouver [...]
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