This spring I got in a car and followed the precise migration path of a young snowy owl named Baltimore. Thanks to cutting edge tracking technology, I was able to visit the exact perches Baltimore chose: a piece of driftwood on the Jersey coast … the top of a Manhattan skyscraper … the roof of the smallest radio station in Canada. Along the way, I got to meet the people touched by Baltimore’s migration, and I learned I learned a little about owl biology and behavior. We’re learning so much new info about this mysterious species. I hope you enjoy!
Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiacus) are absolutely gorgeous owls, mostly recognizable by their bright, white plumage. But if you look closer, you can see the secret to an owl’s silent flight. The edges of an owl’s feathers have a bit of extra fringe, instead of the sharp, distinct edges of most birds. These long fringes actually break up the air around the feathers during each wing-flap. This softens the noise normally created by the beating wings, making an approaching owl nearly impossible to hear. This is great for a hunter trying to sneak up on a lemming, vole, or mouse.