The strong winter winds brought an unexpected surprise to the backyard of my home on Genesee St.. An owl was found to be trying to find refuge from the storm. I am not 100 % sure, but believe it to be a short eared owl, a bird not normally found within the city of Utica. The short eared owl is on the DEC threatened species list for NYS. A report of the sighting has been sent to the Cornell Ornithology College for positive identification. The owl was later chased away by crows, but one daring squirrel tempted fate as it tried to figure out if the owl was real or a plastic scare owl, used on many homes in the area to keep birds out of eaves and roof spaces.
Unusual backyard visitor
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