Spotted: Snowy Owl Perching in Galesville Harbor Yacht Yard

Though snowy owl sightings are usually rare in Anne Arundel County, an irruption of the birds this year should make sightings more common.

A snow owl perching on the boom mast of a sail board in the Galesville Harbor Yacht Yard.|Photo credit: Karen Czarnowski
A snow owl perching on the boom mast of a sail board in the Galesville Harbor Yacht Yard.|Photo credit: Karen Czarnowski
When Galesville resident Karen Czarnowski woke recently and went out for her usual morning stroll, she wasn't expecting to make a rare bird sighting, but that just what she did. 

As she was walking along, a neighbor in a car stopped and told her to be sure to head down to the Galesville Harbor Yacht Yard and check out the snowy owl perched on another neighbor's boat.

Sure enough, there it was. 

"It was sitting on the cover of the boom of the sailboat," Czarnowski said.

Czarnowski observed the bird for a time, but did not have her camera. She went home, got ready for work, and drove back to the yacht yard with the camera. 

The bird was still there, so she snapped these pictures on Dec. 5. 

According yacht yard staff, the bird stayed on the boom mast for quite a while before flying over to Pirate's Cove restaurant and perching on a piling there. Then, the bird few back to the yacht yard and perched on a motor boat that was parked in the lot for a few hours. 

In all, the bird stayed in the area for about eight hours. 

This was Czarnowski's first time seeing a snowy owl. Though she does not consider herself a bird watcher, she is a nature lover and was pleased with the sighting. 

There have already been four confirmed snowy owl sightings in South County in the past few weeks. Though sightings of the owl are usually rare in this area, birdwatchers are expecting an irruption this year, meaning sightings should be more common. 

Want to see a snow owl for yourself? Here's where to look

SHARE: Have a local photo of a snowy owl or other rare bird? Send your photos to jenni.pompi@patch.com for inclusion in an online gallery.
Robin Anderson December 15, 2013 at 08:44 AM
I was walking down Bayfields road when a driver stopped by, all excited about seeing a snowy owl fly from West River Sailing Club in Galesville across Tentouse creek over to the Bayfields/Cumberstone area. I was sceptical of his claim because I didn't think they lived down here. When I looked it up I read that they hadn't been seen here in Maryland in 14 years! I lived in New York near the Canadian border for ten years. Although the snowy owls were fairly common up there, I only observed a snowy owl on one day in all those ten years. We had knee deep snow. I would try to sneak up on it from across a 20 acre field. He'd wait until I was 30 feet away and fly across to the other side. I'd trudge across through the deep snow again, only to have him fly off jus as I lifted my camera. We repeated this for a few hours before I ended up one great in-flight shot on my cheap little camera.


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