Six years ago this week, I was on a business trip in South Carolina . . . a nice respite from February in Maine.
Then I got a text message from Ingrid . . . a Great Gray Owl had been seen in Searsmont, Maine . . . and she was on her way.
Oh the pain!!! Oh the anguish!!!!
The Great Gray Owl is one of the most sought after birds in North America. It is so rare that eBird, Cornell’s citizen science birding database, blocks the specific location of sightings.
Standing 26 inches tall with a wing span over four feet, the Great Gray Owl only weighs two and a half pounds, they are all feathers, insulation to keep them warm.
Anyway, that evening I made a special trip to Waffle House to help alleviate the pain after Ingrid regaled me with stories and photos of the Owl perched, preening, hunting and driving off Bluejays.
Next year (2024), Ingrid and I will be doing a Big Year, traveling the continental USA, trying to see as many species of birds as possible. In mid-January we are traveling to the Sax-Zim Bog in Minnesota, the best place in the country to see the Great Gray Owl. I hope to finally see one.