Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Snowy Owls: A Rare Opportunity!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Snowy owl hanging out and catching a snooze at Smithville Lake

This crank puppy is in love with birds - not just chickens - but bird of all kinds  Especially of the raptor variety.  Here in Kansas City, we currently have the opportunity of a lifetime to view the rare snowy owl, a raptor that normally lives in northern Canada near the Arctic circle and normally winters in Canada.  So it is very rare for them to be located this far south and the bad news is that they are here because of hardship.  Apparently, there's been a huge boost in the owl population and a severe dip in their main food source - the lemming population.  (Clicky for those of you who don't know what a lemming is - I certainly didn't.) The average snowy owl can eat up to 1600 lemmings per year.  They're the largest owl in North America, coming in at almost 2 feet in height and with a wingspan of over 5 feet.

There are currently 5 snowy owls that have been spotted on Smithville Lake, just north of Kansas City.  This one posed for us all morning long as part of "Eagle Days", a joint education project sponsored by the US Army Core of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the US Parks Service.  It's an annual event where residents can come by and learn about the bald eagle, which nests in our area regularly, and actually see them in the wild.  They have spots setup around the Lake with spotting scopes.  Unfortunately, we were able to see a bald eagle sitting in a tree in the middle of the lake from about a mile away with their scopes, but it was far out of reach of my best camera lens.  (Must correct that situation!)

Having held the snowy owl above in my camera lens, I can say that they are breathtakingly beautiful birds.  But viewing them comes with a note of sadness.  According to a local news story, many of these owls will not make the return trip home.  Operation Wildlife rescued one last week after it was hit by a car and broke its wing.  Unfortunately, the owl didn't survive.  Another was struck by a train in Kansas City, Kansas.  Since they're from the tundra, they're a little naive about cars and power lines.

I've got some other pics from Eagle Days that I'll be sharing with you in my next post.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...