Unusual number of Arctic snowy owls seen in US

Dec 05, 2013 by Mary Esch

Snow-white owls with luminous yellow eyes are thrilling bird-watchers as the magnificent Arctic birds set up winter residence at airports, fields and beaches in the United States far south of their normal range.

Snowy owls, familiar to children as Harry Potter's pet, made a noticeable appearance in the northern half of the U.S. in 2011.

This year, bird-watchers are reporting on eBird.org snowy owl sightings at dozens of locations across the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states as far south as Cape Hatteras, N.C.

The live in the Arctic, but when their population spikes or lemmings are scarce, many must fly south to find food.

Lillian Stokes, a co-author of Stokes field guides, says a few are seen in the U.S. every year, "but this year is phenomenal."

Explore further: Rescued 'abandoned' penguin chicks survival similar to colony rates

5 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Veeries very quiet when owls are about

Jul 30, 2013

If you hear an owl hooting at dusk, don't expect to catch the flute-like song of a Veery nearby. This North American thrush has probably also heard the hoots, and is singing much less to ensure that it does ...

US advances plan to kill barred owls in Northwest

Jul 24, 2013

(AP)—Federal wildlife officials plan to dispatch armed bird specialists into forests of the Pacific Northwest starting this fall to shoot one species of owl to protect another that is threatened with extinction.

Spotted owls facing extinction in Canada

May 18, 2007

Officials in the Canadian province of British Columbia have ordered all regional spotted owls to be collected to prevent the birds from going extinct.

Recommended for you

Secret wing colours attract female fruit flies

14 hours ago

Bright colours appear on a fruit fly's transparent wings against a dark background as a result of light refraction. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have now demonstrated that females choose a mate ...

Pigeons and people play the odds when rewards are higher

17 hours ago

(Phys.org) —If you were weighing the risks, would you choose to receive a guaranteed $100, or take a 50/50 chance of winning either $200 or nothing? Researchers at the University of Alberta have shown that ...

User comments : 0