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: Veeries very quiet when owls are about

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

Smarter than a first-grader?

3 hours ago

In Aesop's fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over ...

How honey bees stay cool

15 hours ago

Honey bees, especially the young, are highly sensitive to temperature and to protect developing bees, adults work together to maintain temperatures within a narrow range. Recently published research led by ...

User comments : 0