(Image: @laurenhonaker with permission)
Looks like we’re going to need our CHS Aviary expert Melissa Koosmann to be available for breaking bird news. Monday night, CHS found a flock of neighbors enjoying the show as a snowy owl made a meal of what appeared to be a seagull near 11th and John.
One resident of the area said he first saw the bird hours before our 7pish visit straddling the fresh kill near the sidewalk outside the apartment building at 11th and John. Through the night, the big owl managed to move the carcass farther into the recesses between the building as neighbors mostly kept their distance and took pictures of the relatively rare sighting.
While barred owls make areas around the Hill their permanent homes, the snowy owl is a seasonal visitor to an area as far south as Seattle. We’re assuming this one was just passing through but we’re sure Melissa can tell us more about the likelihood of such a creature making the Hill its full-time winter home. The last sighting on the Hill of a snowy owl that we’re aware of was this one captured in pictures in January 2006.
Thanks to @bethundra for the owlish tip.