What made this weird snow formation from New Hampshire? It kept the folks around Manchester and Concord guessing for a while. It looks like something out of a Stephen King movie, doesn't it?  Maybe it's a helmet that someone dropped in the snow?  Maybe some sort of weird fruit left over from the fall?  Nope, none of my guesses were correct.

NH Fish and Game Facebook page gave the correct answer:

This imprint was made by an owl trying to catch a small mammal in the snow. The deep depression is from its talons trying to grab its prey. The top is the owls head and then the wings on either side. Based on the wingspan (~20 inches) plus absence of ear tufts, we surmise it was made by a northern sawhet owl.

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Just this past Christmas in New York City, according to Wikipedia, there was an adult female Northern Saw-whet Owl IN the branches of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.  She was dehydrated and hungry after the trip from Oneonta, New York where they got the spruce to New York City.  The crew who discovered her nicknamed her "Rocky."  She was able to get the care she needed before being released at a Wildlife Center.  The press was all over this story at the time.  Rocky got even more coverage when Frontier Airlines announced that her picture would be featured on the tails of their planes!

Owls are majestic creatures and we are so lucky to have them here where we live.  If you happen to see one, consider yourself very lucky because they are hard to find.

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