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Residents flocking to see snowy owls at airport

Jason Berne, manager of Parmenter Tire near the airport, sent in this picture of a snowy owl that he said a researcher brought into the shop for he and his staff to see.

"They are beautiful," Berne said.

TV news crews have been out to the airport today. Jay Terkel, in comments on our story from yesterday, said there are so many cars driving slowly around the airport "it's like Lion Country Safari" out there.

Photo by Jay Terkel.

Photo by Dylan Brew.

Mardell Lamb
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This is so exciting!

From the National Geographic web sight:

"Did you know? Unlike most owls, which are nocturnal, snowy owls are diurnal—they hunt and are active both day and night."

Also learned that they can live up to about 10 yrs.

Darlene Desjardins
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It is not just Batavia that has the pleasure of seeing these wonderful birds. Last night around 5:15 sitting on a telephone pole outside my home between 5 corners and the high school in Oakfield for about ten minutes I got to watch this bird. When he flew off to the new water tower it was an amazing sight! Oakfield keep yours eyes open!!

Tim Miller
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Thanks to all for sharing the great pics!

tom hunt
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Once people flock to the Batavia Airport to see the vintage WWII aircraft and the latest in military hardware. Now a wild bird is the big draw.

Kyle Couchman
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It would be nice to see Warplane museum place a few of their Planes here Tom. But the wildlife is a big deal too. I'm especially interested in the correlation to winter weather alot of us older folk remember and a species of arctic raptor suddenly being very commonly spotted.

I'd like to think it's because we pay more attention to the local environment, rather than a shift to arctic weather. But I guess I won't worry too much until I start seeing permafrost and white bears.

Dave Olsen
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You see a white bear coming, Kyle, you better worry.
I was helping to set up a camp on an ice floe north of Greenland once and there was a 30:06 rifle and ammo included in the gear we unloaded. My friend who had to stay out there for a few days asked about it, the scientist in charge said, mostly for the polar bears. I asked, just being curious, where the best place is to aim on the bear. He said "Oh you shouldn't shoot the bear, that just pisses them off. You can fire a couple of warning shots in the air which usually scares them off. If that doesn't work and they charge, it's preferable to shoot yourself as opposed to what the bear will do to you. Best thing is to ignore them unless they get close, if they're coming towards a camp it means they are very hungry." I smiled at my buddy and said "Have a nice time" and got back on the plane. There were no bear attacks, but they are fierce.

Kyle Couchman
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I have some friends that were in the marines and stationed up in alaska. They were involved with a few expeditions to the arctic. They said just about the same thing only they had .50 cals. Once the polar bear is mad it's like a chicken w its head cut off. It keeps goin and goin.

kevin kretschmer
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The National Warplane Museum has no reason to park a couple of their vintage aircraft at the airport. Why would they want to intentionally send business away from their own facility, especially considering the fact that having a grass airstrip big enough for large WWII bombers is one of the draws they market?

Kyle Couchman
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Ok Kevin....why wouldn't they want to come here and perhaps have some traffic to their planes. I dont think they'd lose any business as they would probably still charge admission or donation fees, also they would bring some merchandise to sell. As I see it it would expand their audience so that more outlying "Potential Customers" would see their planes, and possibly increase membership and or customer base.

I do believe our airstrips can accomodate bombers as well... not positive but seems to me they dont need as much as you think they do.

kevin kretschmer
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The HAG went down that road some time ago and it caused alot of problems. The length of the Batavia airstrip is not the issue, the fact it's asphalt is.

tom hunt
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Who remembers the White Owl cigars??

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