Surnia ulula
Hawk Owl / Hökuggla / Høgeugle

Probably this December concludes the warmest autumn ever in this country, and the owls from Fenno-Skandia are late this year, so it seamed obvious to cross the Oeresund and go to Sweden to meet with one of them, the Northern Hawk Owl, now it was there.
It was the early Saturday morning of the second weekend of December 2000.

In the dark of the night, during the coffee on the ferry the big question, concerning the translation of two Swedish words came up.
Stubåker and Trädridå and this was later the subject of our conversation while we were driving.
Two essential words in our Swedish four line guide to find a bird. Two words we didn't understand.

I mean a look out of the car window could assure you that there is a lot of Sweden out there and theres a lot of threes there too and on top of this we knew the Owl had mowed small 20 miles north during the last week or so. How do you find a single bird in even just one square mile of forrest.

The best thing we had was surely the supervisors confidence.
Of course the bird would be there and of course we would find it. Yes, it hadn't been seen yesterday or the day before, but the weather had been bad, and well, anyway after mingling for a while with bird-people you get adicted. Adicted to simply standing some time every day in the cold wind with your binoculars.


It gets to you.

The chance of some rare bird is really just a spice added.

The Hawk Owl is, what is called relatively frequently seen in Denmark. Like the Great Gray Owl it leads an essential nomadic life up north with its northern limits closely parralling southern limits of Snowy Owl and Southern limits aproximately where cultivated land and humans take over.
This nomadic life following the availabillity of Vole brings it to Denmark some winters.

Last year only one single bird was seen in Denmark, and for one day only, nothing like the all times great invasion during the winter 1983-84 where 300 Northern Hawk Owls were counted . Theese great erruptions even brings birds as far as to England and France.

A Stubåker is a stubble field learning that it took us 15 seconds or the time it took to get the Lecia out of the trunck to spot the bird.

Källstorp Gaard Skåne Sweden December 9. 2000.