Newport and Croydon had a celebrity visitor this weekend, the Great Grey Owl. According to Larry Rawls of Croydon it is a once in a lifetime sighting. Rawls observed the bird Sunday in Newport in a field near the water filtration plant, but the Great Grey also paid a visit Croydon Flat according to Anne Campbell who spotted the bird on Thursday on Croydon Brook Road.
The great gray owl is a rare visitor to New England. It is considered the tallest owl in the world, with a wingspan of up to five feet. However, the Great Grey Owl is all fluff and feathers, and weighs only half as much as a snowy owl.
Great Grey Owls have also been spotted in Maine and Ontario Canada in recent weeks. The owls move northward when there is a population crash of rodents in the boreal forest and numbers of Great Gray Owls drift into the northeast and cause excitement for birders.