|Snowy Owl seen off of Dike Rd., Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, WI; 11/24/2011.|
According to most bird guides, Snowy Owls which spend their summer months on the Arctic tundra, will migrate as far south as Southern Wisconsin (such as Horicon Marsh NWR) during the winter, and on rare occaissions might venture into Illinois. Already this year two Snowies have been sighted near Chicago (Montrose Beach Point) and with last year's Snowy near Freeport, that makes three for certain in Illinois in the past two years, and winter officially won't be here for another 3 weeks.
|The same Snowy, Horicon Marsh NWR; 11/24/2011.|
In fact, there were also two Snowy Owls reported at Horicon Marsh this past week, but on my visit, I only found the one (Above). This Snowy is a first year female, which sports a white face with darker spots on the cown as well as its wings and back. An adult male will be completely white with few darker feathers sprinkled throughout. I would love to see a wild male Snowy - the only one I have seen was in captivity in the Lincoln park Zoo of Chicago - link below...
UPDATE: Just yesterday, another Snowy has been reported seen near Rochelle, IL, not far south from Rockford.