Snowy Owls at Boston’s Logan International Airport

January, 2013, Snowy owls were spotted at Logan Airport including a sighting of a female owl who was captured, tagged and released last winter and is now back at Logan. This specific owl’s GPS recording showed she had traveled over 7,000 miles. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)

Behind the Scenes:

After you have been a photojournalist for almost two decades it is great to every once in a while get an assignment which gets you excited about your job. Especially if its one you haven’t done before.

I have photographed many raptor species throughout the years but never a snowy owl so I was truly looking forward to getting out there and seeing them. I was not disappointed.

A USDA officer who patrols the wildlife in the area and an Audobon Society guy drove the writer and I to the area along and between the Logan’s landing strips. It was truly an amazing experience to be so close to these planes taking off and landing.

These two guys were amazing at spotting the owls. Had I been out there by myself, I probably would have confused the white fuzzy things with snow piles. These two guys would look into the distance with their naked eyes and immediately spot the not-so little guys.

The images are of two different owls, but as luck has it, we didn’t get to see on this day the female with the GPS tracking device.

Tech Stuff:

  • DSLR with a 600mm 4.0 lens and a monopod. ISO 800.
  • WB: Cloudy (it was so windy out there I eventually had to give up the monopod and lay flat in a sniper-like prone position just to get the lens to stabilize.)
  • Even though the 600mm is a powerful and portentous lens it was not good enough for this assignment.
  • Given the choice again, I would opt for an 800 or longer lens.