Documentation of Snowy Owl

Observer Information

Reporter:  David Dowell  3721 Staghorn Dr,   Longmont, CO  80503
Other Observers: 

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Snowy Owl
First Date/Time:  11/25/2017 1:35:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  11/25/2017 1:55:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  20 minutes
County:  Morgan
Specific Location:  Fort Morgan
Number:  1
Age:  Immature
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


light pole along Interstate 76; riparian, urban, and rural habitats nearby

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  binoculars, camera
Distance:  100 feet
Light:  full sun

Description of the Bird

I was driving westbound on I-76 when I first saw the Snowy Owl.  I exited and stopped for a while, taking some photos.  The pale, large, and bulky appearance of this species is distinctive.  The dark barring on the undersides and wing coverts, and the dark spots on the forehead, are typical for an immature bird.  The bird was resting the entire time I watched it, only occasionally turning its head or opening its eyes.  No calls could be heard above the loud traffic noise.

Similar Species Discussion

Great Horned Owl is the expected large, bulky owl at this location, and a leucistic / extremely pale one could look similar to a Snowy Owl.  However, the lack of ear tufts on the observed bird eliminates Great Horned Owl.

Resources Used

Sibley Guide to Birds

Previous Experience

No prior experience observing this species in person.  Familiarity with this species from books and photos.  Several years of experience observing other owl species in Colorado.


Notes made DURING observation

Materials Available

Photographer: David Dowell

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

2/23/2018 6:41:00 PM
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Location Map

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2) No specific coordinates are available but the location is mappable.
3) A generic location with no specific coordinates is mapped to the center of the reported county.

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