Editor’s note: Esteemed Photographer Dave Harp sent along this stunning photograph to the Spy a few days ago. He writes “below is a photo I made of him in a tree behind my house, shortly before he departed in March.
He attracted hundreds, if not thousands, of avid birders and regular folks interested in a glimpse of his highness. It was such a pleasure having him (most likely a young male) around on gray winter days!
It was a snowy winter in Cambridge. What started out as a Christmas present in December turned out to be a winter-long gift, when a snowy owl (Nyctea scandiaca) graced Cambridge with its presence until the end of March. The owl, most likely a young male, was far out of its normal range, which goes into the high arctic.
Nearly two feet tall, he made quite a presence and attracted birders with powerful scopes, photographers with their giant lenses and people with cell phone cameras looking for a glimpse of the beautiful owl. He would spend days on chimney’s, roofs, docks and trees in the historic west end of Cambridge, probably living off rodents, ducks and small birds. He was the talk of the West End all winter and provided a respite from thoughts of covid and other worldly matters. “Where’s Snowy today?” was usually answered by looking for pods of people, some with tripods and cameras, gazing heavenward.
We hope he returns next year.