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Here is Peter Pyle's interesting response on the owl:

Agree, female, and it can probably be aged A4Y or older based on the  
molt pattern. At least two generations of primaries and secondaries  
can be seen (best in 9519) and it looks like the outer 3-4 primaries  
are newer on the right wing and the outer 2 primaries are newer on the  
left wing. Since the molt starts with p7 and this feather is older it  
would take at least two molts (probably more) to reach this pattern  
and thus A4Y. A similar case could be made for s4-s5 appearing older  
than adjacent secondaries, and that none of the primaries or  
secondaries appear juvenal indicates that she is likely A6Y or older.  
At this point, the amount of black indicates female, and I also find  
that females are stockier and bigger-headed looking than males.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Linda Williams <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: December 7, 2011 5:25:56 PM CST
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Snowy Owl, Smithville Lake, age/sex quiz
>
> MOBIRDERS,
>
> Here's an aging/sexing quiz for you if you would like to try your  
> hand on one of the Smithville Snowy Owls.  Photos of the owl have  
> been sent to guru Peter Pyle and we have his speedy response  
> confirming what Mark Robbins deduced on the owl.  The photos sent  
> are at the following link and I will post Mr. Pyle's response  
> tomorrow evening after you have had time to think it over!  No  
> giving away the answer if you already know!
>
> http://gallery.me.com/lkwilliams1#100228&bgcolor=black&view=grid
>
> Linda Williams
> Liberty, Clay County, MO
> [log in to unmask]
>


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