A wind was blowing hard enough to blow the incoming Snowy Owl to a standstill in her glide and push her backwards as she descended to the snowy ground....and 10 feet away was a much larger female Snowy Owl which apparently took exception to this intrusion into her personal zone and hissed a warning. The other appeared to ignore the warning in an insolent manner and the larger female launched into the air in an attack. The larger, more mature female Owl left no doubt in delivering a warning when she intruded into the other's space and made it apparent by her behavior in doing so that she was dominant. Hissing and pushing occurred but both were careful to not cause any injury to the other. Shortly thereafter, they returned to their previous positions 10 or 15 feet apart and stoically faced the stiff breeze and the blowing fine snow. About 20 minutes later the Owl in the eastern position was rattled enough to launch into flight. The more mature Owl swiftly rose into the air to reinforce her warning by attempting to intercept the younger Owl in her flyby.
I have photographed at least 20 Snowy Owls in the last 5 years and this is the first time i have seen any aggression between these big birds. What is encouraging is that these birds were intentionally careful to not injure one another. Do Snowy Owls actually try to intimidate each other in order to hold a hunting territory and keep their food source intact? .....I think so!
Anyway.....more to come....cheers....dave.
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:Arctic Owl, Bird of Prey, Largest North American OwlL, fearless, relentless, Silent Hunter