xeni at February 3rd, 2014 13:58 — #1
eark_the_bunny at February 3rd, 2014 14:14 — #2
Well you see there is this letter that has to be delivered to a certain someone but they have run into some problems.
horsepunchkid at February 3rd, 2014 14:22 — #3
I went out a couple of weekends ago to see if I could find a snowy owl. I managed to get a few photos of one at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn:
salgak at February 3rd, 2014 14:23 — #4
Well, there IS an elephant in the room, and yes, it IS Climate Change. . . but not the one you're thinking of.
Animals migrate when conditions exceed their tolerances. . . meaning, in this case, it's getting colder out there, so the optimum habitat for Snowy Owls will move south.
Heck, we see this in human migration patterns, ask any Floridian about "snow birds". . . (grin)
Welcome to the Solar Minimum. . .
charmingquark at February 3rd, 2014 14:28 — #5
Maybe they rode the Polar Vortex south.
medievalist at February 3rd, 2014 14:53 — #6
So why are the Kingfishers now staying year-round in my streambanks instead of flying south every winter, at the same time that snowy owls are moving into my woods? Why did I find a duppy bat (southern/tropical moth) less than ten miles from my house? Why do I have both the blue (northern) and white (southern) forms of the Great Blue Heron on my property nearly every summer? Why are cold-climate animals moving south at the same time that warm-climate animals are moving north?
Maybe the answers aren't the simple ones that the political parties want us to believe, Salgak...
salgak at February 3rd, 2014 14:55 — #7
Who's talking politics. I'm talking geophysics: we're IN a Solar Minimum. Google "Dalton Minimum" or "Maunder Minimum". Just saying. . . .
medievalist at February 3rd, 2014 15:13 — #8
I know a little bit about about solar dynamics, because my brother sends me stuff (he's currently running a satellite measuring the Earth's magnetosphere, but he used to be involved with both the Hubble and SOHO).
Can you explain to me how any increase or decrease of solar activity would result in the effects I previously mentioned, that I've personally observed with my own eyes? Seems like you're hand-waving and telling me not to bother my pretty little head. Which happens to be the position of a certain political party I belong to.
wearysky at February 3rd, 2014 15:17 — #9
Is it just me, or does the owl look SUPER please with itself in this picture?
Also, I love the in-flight photo.
subversivemum at February 3rd, 2014 16:57 — #10
This was my immediate thought too.
acerplatanoides at February 3rd, 2014 17:46 — #11
I found one on the coast in Mass last week.
samwinston at February 3rd, 2014 18:07 — #12
Maybe they heard about all those Superb owl parties.
nemomeno at February 3rd, 2014 18:30 — #13
nemomeno at February 3rd, 2014 18:55 — #14
The population pressures on this bird that are causing these changed behaviors aren't affecting all birds so it can't just a simple case of temperature shifts affecting tolerances. Also measured temperatures in the northern snowy owl habitats have been increasing, so it's not getting colder.
One hypothesis is that the warmer weather in northern Canada is creating larger populations of lemmings, which allow larger snowy owl broods, creating an overall larger population. When it's time to migrate, the larger populations are forced to disperse further south by territorial pressures by the larger population.
This article was discussing the Cornell Labs biologist disputing the idea of food abundance increasing population, and suggesting that the warmer Canadian temperatures that have been measured in the last few years are disrupting northern habitat forcing the birds south.
Either of make more sense and also have the advantage of fitting some measured data, though it's still something of a mystery.
lightningwaltz at February 3rd, 2014 20:16 — #15
I saw a white Heron in Ontario this Summer. It stayed around till almost October. Thought it was albino, but possibly a Southern Heron.
acerplatanoides at February 3rd, 2014 20:24 — #16
Close the internet for the night boys, game is over.
medievalist at February 4th, 2014 12:32 — #17
I always start out thinking they're egrets, and then something gives me the scale, and I realize that bird is big. This page discusses the speciation controversy; it seems like there's increasing numbers of individual Great White Herons being spotted north of the Florida Keys, which may upset the species classifications as interbreeding with the Blue becomes more common.
arbyn at February 6th, 2014 01:10 — #18
xeni at February 8th, 2014 13:58 — #19
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