Pssssst! Want to Have Your Very Own Snowy Owl – Peregrine Falcon Experience?

by Jeff Gordon on February 16, 2012

If you’ve been impressed by Rick Remington’s amazing photos of the encounter between a Snowy Owl and a Peregrine Falcon along Chicago’s Lakefront, you might say, “Wow! How lucky he was to see something like that!!!”

Burrowing Owls 05-09 011

Burrowing Owl by Michelle Voli. Licensed under a Creative Commons license.

And you’d be right, of course. But birders are lucky! We share experiences like this all the time, believe it or not.

As incredible as this event was, and as much as Rick deserves huge credit for his great photography, birders see exciting things every day. In real life, not just on a computer screen. Probably not far from where you live.

Sure, it’s not always two spectacular raptor species dueling. It might be something more low key and touching like a male and female Forster’s Tern exchanging a bright silvery minnow as part of a graceful courtship ritual, or the siren song and bold colors of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak perched high in a bright green oak. But it’s a rare day out birding that doesn’t produce something wonderful and amazing.

And there’s something that makes all this beauty and excitement even better. That’s the fellowship of a community of amazing, fun people who have also had the good fortune to be birders. People who can not only share your discoveries, but who can help you have them more often.

aba_bannerI’d like to invite you to witness more of the amazing world of birds and the awesome community of birders by joining the American Birding Association.

The ABA provides you with access to a treasure trove of information about how and where to find, enjoy, and protect the wild birds all around you, as well as ones in places far from your home.

But be careful! A lot of us find that once our eyes have been opened to just how cool birds are and how much fun birding is, there’s no turning back! But then, I can’t think of any of us that would have it any other way.

Come on over to and have a look at all we have to offer. Check out our Facebook fan page ( or join our Facebook discussion group.

Books and websites can give you a lot of very helpful information. But in birding, like so many things in life, nothing beats having friends who can show you the way. For birders, that’s the ABA. Join us, and I guarantee you access to a whole wide world of incredible birding experiences.

Good birding,



Jeffrey A. Gordon
American Birding Association
Colorado Springs, CO


PS: I want to thank North American Birding Blog mastermind (and ABA member and web developer!), Greg Neise, for getting Rick’s photos out to such a wide audience of potential new birders. Strong work, Greg! I also want to thank him for the opportunity to issue this invitation to all of you. Hey, Greg! Let’s go birding sometime!

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  • One thing that makes Birders different is being “aware” of our surroundings. I have always thought that what a lot of people deem as luck is just an expanded awareness of their surroundings.  We tend to always be on the lookout for that rare bird or a certain bird to check off the list and because of that we also see more of our world. 

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  • Steve

    I live in this neighborhood in Chicago and I believe what he saw were Cooper’s Hawks not Peregrine Falcons. The reasoning behind this is that on Thanksgiving I ran into a Cooper’s Hawk 4 blocks from this sighting while it was standing in the middle of alley, watching something underneath a car (probably a rat). I know it’s a Cooper’s Hawk because of its wingspan when it was flying away and the fact that I got about 5ft away from it. They are similar looking birds from a distance if you do not distinguish the striping patterns on the tails and the distinct hawk vs. falcon wingspan shape.

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