Lyon Co snowy owl

snowy owl Admission Date: 17 December 2018
Location of Rescue: Lyon County, Iowa
Cause of Admission / Condition:
Patient Status: Current Patient

A concerned citizen spotted this snowy owl and observed that flight was not possible. She rescued and made contact with SOAR friend and Sioux County Conservation staff member Alex. Thanks to Lyon County Conservation for helping get this owl south to Alex.

This is an adult male snowy by his plumage.  Adult females and juvenile males will have brownish/blackish barring. Learn more about snowy owls from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

This is the first (that we know of) and hopefully only one of a handful of snowy owls that come this far south. Every year there are a few that venture this far south. Remember the 2017-18 winter of MANY snowy owls, read more here.

If you see a snowy owl (or other cool bird), remember responsible human behavior should not disturb these birds! From our friend David on the Raptor Resource Project board of directors, “I CANNOT stress enough (with 30 years of photography experience) how important it is to respect the space of wildlife while viewing and photographing. Please read the ethics statement for wildlife photography from the North American Nature Photography Association.” SOAR also encourages you to read the snowy owl etiquette information from Project Snowstorm.



20 December 2018
Kay reports that this owl is underweight at 3.25 pounds. He eats two large rats a day, about twice what a healthy weight owl would eat. Cornell Lab of Ornithology lists a snowy owl weight range of 3.5-6.5 pounds. (Remember the females will weigh more.) His left wing is stiff and sore.

4 January 2019
All finished with the de-wormer medication, weighing now 4.125 pounds, and is in a 10'x10' flight area to stretch out just a little.

8 January 2019
Owl is not yet wanting to get higher up than a stump.