Snowy Owl report from last winter (no current sighting)

Recently, I learned that a Snowy Owl was killed on March 23, 2012 at the Rockford airport as the result of being hit by an airplane. The airport reports wildlife/aircraft collisions to the FAA wildlife strike website.

The specimen was being held by the airport staff in a freezer until it was transported to a museum. I have the specimen and have arranged to transport it to Field Museum in Chicago, where the staff can run some tests on it and, perhaps, salvage parts for the collection. It is not in condition to mount as a display specimen.

The bird had a band on its leg. I reported the band to the Banding Office and today received a certificate which contained the banding information. It was banded just 2 days earlier in Boone County, near Rockford, on March 21, 2012. I do not recognize the name of the bander. Last winter, a Snowy Owl was reported from Boone County on the Great Backyard Bird Count, which was held around February 19-21, 2012. I have no idea if that report was in the area where the bird was banded on March 21.

Snowy Owls are beginning to show up in IL this winter, including reports from Bureau, McLean and Will (today) Counties.

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