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How to Watch Snowy Owls Responsibly

Exercise extreme care when photographing these rarely seen birds
Published: October 5, 2012
Snowy Owl1
Snowy Owl
It’s always exciting to find a Snowy Owl and lots of fun to photograph one. If you see one this winter, please act responsibly by approaching them with great care.

Snowy Owls that show up in the United States move south not because they are migrating, but because they couldn’t find enough to eat up north. So they are probably under severe stress.

Do your best not to add to their struggles. Keep a good distance away. Don't use live mice to lure them in to roadsides for photography. And don’t cause them to flush. Ever.

Remember: Your behavior will help determine whether the owls find enough food over the winter to make it back to the tundra to breed again.

Chuck Hagner is an avid birdwatcher and the editor of
BirdWatching magazine, a bimonthly magazine about wild birds and birding. To learn more about Snowy Owls, read his piece in the December 2012 issue of Cabin Life.
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