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Field Grade

Here come the snowy owls

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lee sykes

Burton Spiller wrote that this spelled doom for grouse numbers.  I so rarely see either one that I think the chance of one encountering the other around here are pretty slim.  Burt wrote about his adventures hunting in Southern Maine and adjoining parts of New Hampshire during the first third of the 20th century but the place would scare you (or any grouse hungry owl) these days!   

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Field Grade

Yes I remember him writing how the owls come down 'on silent pinions,' dealing death to grouse numbers.

 

Back then they probably shot snowy owls on sight, along with most other raptors.

 

Like you mention, grouse numbers are getting so low in some areas I doubt snowy owls will do that much damage.

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shoot-straight

We had one that came down every year to a barrier island here in md. 

 

Beautiful as they are- he looked a bit out of place on an ocean beach

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dogrunner

I think they like rabbit and hares more than grouse. 

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bigdog MN

Many are showing up in Minnesota all the way down to Minneapolis. The Raptor Center is having a record year with the number being admitted.  

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bigdog MN

Many are showing up in Minnesota all the way down to Minneapolis. The Raptor Center is having a record year with the number being admitted.  

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Peent
19 hours ago, lee sykes said:

Burton Spiller wrote that this spelled doom for grouse numbers.  I so rarely see either one that I think the chance of one encountering the other around here are pretty slim.  Burt wrote about his adventures hunting in Southern Maine and adjoining parts of New Hampshire during the first third of the 20th century but the place would scare you (or any grouse hungry owl) these days!   

These owls don't eat grouse.  They hunt for small rodents in wide open fields.  Burton was wrong.  I wonder how many of these owls got whacked (or still get whacked) because of stories like that.  

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lee sykes
25 minutes ago, Peent said:

These owls don't eat grouse.  They hunt for small rodents in wide open fields.  Burton was wrong.  I wonder how many of these owls got whacked (or still get whacked) because of stories like that.  

Doesn't matter to me if they do.  My take on predators is they have as much right to the game as anyone. I leave them alone to live the way they have lived for millions of years.  We hunt for sport, primarily as most of us can afford to buy or raise our meat.  Wild predators have no options.  Admittedly, some people like to kill them anyway. 

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drummer's stump

The goshawk is the real grouse killer. Even though they hunt grouse, I do love them, when I am working in the spring and early summer I like to watch pairs courting. Some of my co-workers don't find them as entertaining as I do. There is a very large female that hangs around my work camp, once I saw her fly off with a mature hare like it was nothing. If she hit you, you would know it. 

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GB Jack
23 hours ago, Peent said:

These owls don't eat grouse.  They hunt for small rodents in wide open fields.  Burton was wrong.  I wonder how many of these owls got whacked (or still get whacked) because of stories like that.  

Wait, so you’re saying that the snowed owl only eats small vermin?  

9252AD39-E05F-4886-82D4-EEC16735FF99.jpeg

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OldSarge

I’ve seen two here this winter. Caught me totally by surprise so I didn’t get any pics. Western Yoop.

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dogrunner
9 hours ago, GB Jack said:

Wait, so you’re saying that the snowed owl only eats small vermin?  

9252AD39-E05F-4886-82D4-EEC16735FF99.jpeg

Maybe it caught a WNV grouse. 😆

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Peent

Looks like a small songbird by the look of the feet.  Snowy Owls mainly hunt in open ground settings.  I'm not saying they can't take a grouse.  They probably hunt Ptarmigan on their breeding range, but mostly they are after smaller game.  You will not find them in the grouse thickets, they are not built to compete with ruffed grouse it habitat.  Will they eat one?  Of course.  But they certainly do not have any sizable impact on grouse populations like Spiller suggested. 

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MNuplander
On 12/24/2017 at 6:14 AM, Peent said:

Looks like a small songbird by the look of the feet.  Snowy Owls mainly hunt in open ground settings.  I'm not saying they can't take a grouse.  They probably hunt Ptarmigan on their breeding range, but mostly they are after smaller game.  You will not find them in the grouse thickets, they are not built to compete with ruffed grouse it habitat.  Will they eat one?  Of course.  But they certainly do not have any sizable impact on grouse populations like Spiller suggested. 

I think it's a gold-winged warbler?

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