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16

Cornell Labs has several good resources: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Exploring and Conserving Nature. The Sibley app also has bird sounds you can compare to (as do several other mobile apps): Sibley Birds of North America There is supposed to be an app coming out which can identify automatically, but I have not yet found a copy of it to download. It's ...


13

I agree with berry120 that contacting local experts, or even hobbyists will most likely be the easiest way to go. They should have a much better knowledge of local species than you would be able to find in (online) literature. Coming across plants or animals in the outdoors it's always interesting to identify them, but not always easy. In my experience, it'...


9

The smallest owl in the world is the elf owl (Micrathene whitneyi). It's about the size of a sparrow, and weighs about an ounce and a half, which is just less than the weight of a golf ball! Wingspan: 13 1/2 - 16 1/2 in. Length: 5 - 5 3/4 in. Tail: 1.8 - 2.1 in. Average Weight: 1 1/2 oz. The back side is rusty-...


7

You almost certainly got close to a nest. The behavior you describe fits various raptors when intruders get close to a nest. There very likely is a nest up there somewhere. If the nest isn't on the tower, then it is in a nearby tree. The bird being a owl wouldn't be my first thought. A seagull is even more unlikely. Since you're only ¼ mile from ...


6

As the Sherlock Holmes would say, How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? If you look through the list of owls in Idaho, or the list of owls in North America you will notice that the only white owl is the Snowy Owl. It seems far more likely that you saw a snowy ...


6

If you're after a certain, one-off dead set answer then you might want to try looking up departments / experts in this area in academia and then send them a polite email saying you'd be very grateful of their help. I'm sure many would be willing to answer since as experts in their field it'd probably take 2 seconds to work out (and many people I know in ...


5

The only possible confusion species would be barn owl. Yellow Pine is near the limit of barn owl range, and barn owl is very noticeably slimmer (not more plump) than snowy owl, so I think you're right in calling it a snowy. Most snowy owls that head into the lower 48 states in the winter are 1st-winter birds, which are more heavily marked than most adults, ...


4

So, you saw it gliding away. And it didn't return to resume an attack. Which makes me think that the contact was not intended. Very likely a night hawk or a nightjar; they do not really care about the obstacles.


3

I have heard of a snowy owl in Pennsylvania. I was walking down a corridor in a college domitory and saw a stuffed snowy owl in a room. The kid there said the owl dropped dead in a field in Pennsylvania. In years where many snowy owls migrate farther south than usual they have sometimes been seen as far south as Hawaii, the US gulf states, and Bermuda. ...


2

In addition to the other answers, I'd like to recommend BirdForum, a large online birding community. It's free to sign up, and they have a specific forum devoted to answering bird identification questions. I've used it myself for help with unidentified birds, and got very quick, useful responses. If you upload the recording somewhere and post a message there ...


1

All About Birds from Cornell Lab of Ornithology is one of the best on the internet for North American Birds. You can search by key word, taxonomic name, or browse by shape: And you can try "Merlin" out for a streamlined identification process! The result pages for the 650+ species include species overview, range maps, life histories, ID information, ...


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