Last fall, a park visitor alerted the staff to a bird in distress near the beach. Park Educator, Rebecca Mullins rushed to the lakeside only to find this regal Snowy Owl had already passed. It is a female and she was then taken to a local taxidermist for mounting. The taxidermist reported the owl did not suffer any physical trauma, (broken bones, tissue damage), leading Rebecca and other park staff to speculate the most likely cause of death was a result of ingestion of a food source that was contaminated with lead or tainted with a poison. They mainly eat small mammals and their diets can range widely to include rodents, rabbits, squirrels, weasels, wading birds, geese and ducks.
Snowy Owls can weigh up to 6.5 lbs., reach a length of 28 in. and attain a wingspan of almost 5 feet. The oldest known Snowy Owl was a female at least 23 years, 10 months old when she was recaptured in 2015 during banding operations in Montana. She had been banded in Massachusetts in 1992.