We have a visitor from the Arctic who only comes here during the cold winter months. It's the snowy owl and they are here in numbers not seen in decades.

This magnificent owl started the migration from the open tundra of the Arctic Circle back in December. The region they usually call home froze over, making it difficult for them to find food ,so they have taken the easy route and flown south.

Now thousands of the owls have made the migration and have been found as far west as St Louis and one has been found in Florida. But the bulk of them are located right here in the Northeast and to the delight of birders everywhere right here in Massachusetts.

Just about any time of day you can go to the Parker River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island and find plenty of fellow birders all taking pictures of these birds or just there to see them. The Salisbury marsh also has a lot of birds traveling through.

The Audubon Society was contacted about a problem with the owls at Logan Airport. There are so many of them they hired a person to live trap the owl sand transport them to another location so they would not bring down an airplane. Logan is a perfect location for the snowy owl as is Plum Island. The area looks like their native tundra so they can sit on a perch and hunt. More than 80 snowy owls have been captured at Logan.

So get out the camera or a pair of binoculars or both and make the migration to the shoreline.


You might just catch a glimpse of one of the most beautiful owls that take to our sky.

News and notes

Today the Billerica Recreation Dept. is holding an ice fishing derby on Nutting Lake until 2 p.m. Parking will be available at Micozzi Beach parking lot. Bait is available but bring your own bucket for the bait...

On March 1 and 2 the Pelham Fish and Game Club will hold their annual sportsmen's show at 100 Simpson Mill Road in Pelham. They will have many vendors who will show you their how-to's plus fly tying and more. The event is in conjunction with the Merrimack Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The cost to get in is just $7 per person. This show always entertains...

The Bass Pro Shops will open a brand new store in Hooksett, N.H., with a ribbon cutting Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. Among those in attendance will be Jimmy Houston, ex-Bruin Bob Sweeney, ex-Red Sox star Trot Nixon, Bass Angler of the year Tim Horton, Miss New Hampshire Samantha Russo, and chain founder Johnny Morris...

New Hampshire wildlife officials just finished the first leg of a three-year moose project. They took a helicopter and flew the north country, locating 43 moose and fitting them with a transmitter. The data on these moose will tell the biologists all their movement and mortality. Blood samples were taken along with tick samples. The moose population has declined some in past years and it might be because of the tick. These samples will help tell the story...

The Massachusetts deer harvest for all seasons was 11,413, which does not include the Quabbin kill. That's a secret! The archery take was 4,474, shotgun 4,625 and the primitive season was just 2,314, showing just how cold the season was. Hunters just stayed home.

Bill Biswanger's email is bboutdoor1@aol.com