WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: Snowy Owl sighting

2:55 PM: This bird has been causing a stir the past few days – and today we finally received photos. Above is Larry Gilpin‘s photo of the Snowy Owl, seen near 52nd and Charlestown around noontime. Joe K. sent the photo below from earlier in the day, on “the north end of Genesee” (might be that same roof):

The Audubon BirdWeb page for the Snowy Owl explains that it’s an “irregular” visitor to this area in winter. We published a few reader photos of sightings like this one in the early 2010s, but nothing recent – until now.

ADDED 7:15 PM: Thanks to David Hutchinson for this evening photo of the Snowy Owl:

At last report, he said, it was hanging out on a roof near Schmitz Park. And just as we were adding his photo, Kersti Muul from Salish Wildlife Watch sent this one that she had previewed in comments:

26 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: Snowy Owl sighting"

  • tophat topcat October 29, 2020 (3:21 pm)

    What a beautiful bird!!

  • CC October 29, 2020 (3:25 pm)

    WOW! That is one beautiful bird! 

  • K to the F October 29, 2020 (3:40 pm)

    Think we heard this lovely near 35th/Edmunds this week. I only recognized the call after watching Wild Kratts with my 4yo :D

  • KJ October 29, 2020 (3:45 pm)


  • Kim October 29, 2020 (3:53 pm)

    Must be looking for a friend of Harry Potter.Another reason why we should stop building all those apartment building in West Seattle, less habitats for animals to live in with all the trees chopped down.

  • anonyme October 29, 2020 (4:11 pm)

    WHAAAAT???!!! OMG, Hedwig is here.  What’s the message? What a gorgeous beastie…

  • Kersti Muul October 29, 2020 (4:33 pm)

    She’s a STUNNER

  • Katie Bucy October 29, 2020 (4:48 pm)

    Wow! That’s beautiful! Nice work, Larry!

  • HD October 29, 2020 (4:50 pm)

    SO BEAUTIFUL!  Also, can someone send him and friends over to Fairmont? I have some rodents in the bushes I’d like him and his friends to naturally remove. (Do you see those talents?!) Thx!

  • Kersti Muul October 29, 2020 (4:59 pm)

  • Michael Waldo October 29, 2020 (5:27 pm)

    Anybody seen the West Seattle turkey lately?No reports of sightings for a long time.

    • WSB October 29, 2020 (5:50 pm)

      Last seen months ago continuing to head south – way south. Renton/Tukwila was the last we heard.

  • Batgirl October 29, 2020 (5:31 pm)

    So beautiful, this brightened my day – thanks for sharing!

  • flimflam October 29, 2020 (6:41 pm)

    Awesome! I love owls…look at those regal feet!

  • Marianne October 29, 2020 (7:22 pm)

    Gorgeous! Thank you.

  • Bird nerd October 29, 2020 (7:55 pm)

    Owl pants!

    Did you know that owls actually have long legs under all those feathers, look it up.

  • ACG October 29, 2020 (8:23 pm)

    Wow. I am so jealous. I would have loved to have seen that. Beautiful bird!

  • Little Bear of Shorewood October 29, 2020 (8:26 pm)

    Our neighbors here in Shorewood on the Sound have also spotted this (?) owl 4 days ago.

    • Kersti Muul October 29, 2020 (10:13 pm)

      It’s most likely the burien one. Two different individuals. Both females

  • eearem October 29, 2020 (9:24 pm)

    There were a couple of snowys that stayed in a small area of Ballard for months last time there was an irruption year. I really hope this around sticks around! It was delightful to see her today. 

  • Chris K October 30, 2020 (7:24 am)

    What a beautiful creature.  Thanks so much for the photos.  The last one needs a caption :-)

  • C.Brynn October 30, 2020 (8:44 am)

    I think Hedwig is in the wrong country…

  • Kate October 30, 2020 (12:02 pm)

    OMG. I would freak the EFF out if that beauty showed up at my house. Once again, one of the many reasons why we live in West Seattle. Epic wildlife for a city. Another good reason to keep your cats inside. My neighbors’ cat was swooped by a barred owl this summer.

  • Heartless? October 30, 2020 (1:34 pm)

    Watch your chickens!

    • Carmen Denn October 30, 2020 (2:52 pm)

      Yes! A good idea!

  • Ann Adachi October 30, 2020 (8:42 pm)

    Amazing & captivating photos of this gorgeous owl! I would die & go to heaven if I saw one of these let alone ANY owl. That’s on my bucket list: to see an owl. Thanks to these photographers for sharing these. Made my day! 

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