New Brunswick

N.B. birders continue search for snowy owls

Birders in New Brunswick are on the lookout for snowy owls.

Snowy Owl Shediac

8 years ago
Duration 1:39
Snowy Owl filmed in Shediac by Alain Clavette 05-12-2013 1:39

Birders in New Brunswick are on the lookout for snowy owls.

At least 30 have been spotted in the province this week. That's the highest number Alain Clavette can recall in his 20 years of birding in the province. Clavette photographed five snowy owls in the Shediac-Cap-Péle area on Thursday.

On Tuesday, a group of four birders spotted 10 snowy owls between Shediac and Cape Tormentine.

"They are popping out everywhere," said Clavette, noting that more than 146 were counted on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland on Sunday.

"We're seeing right now, in eastern Canada and eastern United States also, an amazing movement," said Clavette. "Nova Scotia is the same thing.

"You've got to remember, those are the ones that are being reported. Imagine the amount  that are not being seen by observers."

On Prince Edward Island this week, a snowy owl was spotted on the causeway to Robinson's Island on the North Shore.

Clavette said anyone hoping to see a snowy owl should look in an area resembling the arctic tundra.

"Think maybe of an airport, along the beach, the salt marshes along the coast," he said. "Any areas where there is going to be a concentration of rodents, maybe close to a dump site."

Snowy owls are day hunters, he said.

"You'll see them very often just plain on the ground. If you look in an area where there are no trees at all, they are at home there because that's what it's like in the tundra where they are nesting."

This map by Anne Maloney Assaff marks where in New Brunswick snowy owls have been spotted since Nov. 22. (Anne Maloney Assaff)