Snowy Owl Sightings

Snowy Owl from Wikipedia

Snowy owls are one of the best things about a southern Alberta winter. These beautiful birds escape the harsh Arctic winter, and travel south to the grasslands of Canada and the northern USA. From the time the first one is reported, the country roads around Calgary are very popular with birders.

The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark bars and spots, which are darkest on immature birds.

To make it easier for owl spotting, we’ve added a page to the blog titled Snowy Owls 2011. We’ll be updating this on a regular basis, as soon as snowy sightings are reported on Alberta Bird. By keeping a running list of locations, it’s easier to plan your drive, and increase your chances of a sighting.

If you’re not signed up for Alberta Bird and find a snowy owl, please leave the location in the comments below, and we’ll add it to the list.

Posted by Pat Bumstead

14 thoughts on “Snowy Owl Sightings

  1. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing a few owls in my area which is New Norway, Alberta. On our acreage I have encounter the Snowy White Owl on Township Road 450 between Hwy 822 and Hwy 21 many times and on the acreage, 3 Great Horned Owls, one being the baby born last summer! A Northern Saw-Whet Owl in our spruce trees! I’ve been wanting to tell the world about this place. The diverse amount of wild life I have photographed in the past year has left me in awe! 75 varieties and counting! Thanks so much for your website. I find it fascinating being able to name most of them thru this site!

    Janis Watt

  2. I saw 2 snowy owls today southeast of Lethbridge — on Township Road 80 — in the Stirling AB area… I had never seen one before, it was incredible!!! 🙂

  3. Pair of owls at midnight with full moon on October 19 2013 in our front yard in Silversprings area of Calgary. Male in very top of large spruce and female in our 30 year old weeping birch.Male hooting and female vocalizing with loud sharp call. Got me out of bed. Would have been fantastic picture except for the street lights. Lived here and have seen many odd birds at migration times but never snowies before. Must be out for bunnies.

  4. 2012 12 24 (2:00 pm)
    Snowy owl in Calgary just off McLeod Trail (42 Avenue area). It was surrounded by several black birds and sitting in an industrial section driveway. It was 15 feet in front of us (we were in car). It sat for some time, pivoting its head and observing. The black birds took flight. We speculated that the owl may be wounded and left the car. The owl flew off in an arcing loop accompanied by the crowd of assorted black birds.

    We have a picture, but don’t know how to post it.

  5. Just saw one perched on a street lamp on campbell road by st albert. just north of the anthony henday.

    • We try to restrict the above list to the Calgary area, within about 80 km of the city. Someone should start an Edmonton-area owl list to assist birders there!

      • I agree with you. I’m from the New Norway area and I heard Ferintosh has a bird watching group. Still we are here and I see many species in our back yard!

  6. I saw one today from my living room window in the community of Fonda in Calgary.
    It was on the neighbors roof surrounded by Magpies. I almost didn’t see it because it blended in so well with the snow on the roof. Then it moved, charged at one of the Magpies and then flew away.

  7. Pretty sure we had snowy owl/s near our house a few months ago. I attempted to get pictures and will send some to the above mentioned address right away. I noticed one owl had a pretty big pinkish stain on the back of his/her head and wondered if perhaps it was marked or tagged by someone, or if it was injured. I can also include the photos taken of that. Anyway, the approximate area is in a cluster of trees running alongside highway 21, and in between wye road, and lakeland drive.

  8. I saw a female snowy owl yesterday on a fence post beside HWY 36 just south of Brooks AB. We pulled off the road and got a great view from our binoculars.
    We have a few pictures but the Owl looks far away.

  9. snowy owl sighting – NE of St. Paul Alberta near the intersection of 84 and 584 – sorry not sure which one is range and which one township – date of sighting April 21st and 23rd, 2012. Talked to my friend who works for ACA and she says they are usually gone north by the end of January. I tried to take this owl’s picture and it flew away rather quickly – but has stayed close to the same spot for 3 days now.

  10. Saturday, Jan.14,2012
    Snowy owl sightings in and around Bruce Lake area today in 4 hour period. 5 female and one male.
    female- Twp Rd 270/ Rge Rd 255; male- Twp Rd 270/ Rge Rd 260; female- Twp
    Rd 262; Rge Rd 254; female- Twp Rd 262/ Rge Rd 253; female- Twp Rd 252/ Rge Rd 255; female- Twp Rd 252/ Rge Rd 270. Male allowed us to get quite close, females were much more wary. we had a great day due in large part to the info posted on your website. Many thanks. Do you accept photo submissions?

    Doug and Susan Thierman

    • I’m so glad our website helped in your snowy owl sightings. It’s currently the most popular page on our blog and getting lots of visitors! Yes we certainly do welcome photo submissions – just send anything you would like to share on the blog to and thank you for thinking of us!

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