Snowy owl and pellet regurgitation:

Started Dec 13, 2013 | Discussions
chuck kling Contributing Member • Posts: 530
Snowy owl and pellet regurgitation:


Sorry for the slipup !!

Photos taken at about 75 yards distance.... D300s..300mm F2.8 VR + 1.4x t.c.

Nikon D300S
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Iain Harper
Iain Harper Contributing Member • Posts: 705
Re: Snowy owl and pellet regurgitation:

I love the way you animated the pictures in series. Beautiful bird, beautiful pictures.


 Iain Harper's gear list:Iain Harper's gear list
Olympus E-1 Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 +6 more
Kerry Pierce
MOD Kerry Pierce Forum Pro • Posts: 19,757
Re: Snowy owl and pellet regurgitation:

That's an interesting, if slightly disgusting, series of images. So, for those of us that don't know, what is the owl doing and why?


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my gallery of so-so photos

 Kerry Pierce's gear list:Kerry Pierce's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC +17 more
OP chuck kling Contributing Member • Posts: 530
Re: Snowy owl and pellet regurgitation:

Thanks, Kerry !

The owls regularly regurgitate , in the form of usually compact oval shaped bundles of undigestible materials..... consisting of hair, bones, feathers, etc. from  their prey.

Other raptors such as hawks, etc., do the same thing.

In the field, I have noticed from experience , that when a perching Snowy owl , such as in this case, brings up a pellet.... it may often be a sign that it is ready to take off...perhaps to hunt once again.

When I saw this bird regurgitate....I was immediately at the ready , for possible flight ....which I did luckily capture.

This winter is  witness to a very large southward movement of these birds, especially in eastern North America. This can repeat itself in sort of irregular cycles, every few years. The reasons being , probable high fledgling success in the far north and / or a plunge in the population of its favorite prey.....the lemming.

It looks like hundreds...if not thousands of photographers, will be very busy through the winter

Chuck Kling

P.S., collection of Snowys over the years, can be seen at:

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