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Rare Arctic Owl Migration to the U.S.

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Rare Arctic Owl Migration to the U.S.

Considered one of the most significant wildlife events in decades, the iconic snowy owl of Arctic fame is winging it south in a mass migration to the lower 48 states. A handful of snowy owls do find their way to the lower 48 every year during the winter, but never in the thousands like we are witnessing this year.

Snowy owls, which stand two feet tall and have a wingspan of five feet with snow white plumage, have been spotted coast to coast this year from shorelines in Massachusetts to farmlands in Idaho, rooftops in Montana, golf courses in Missouri, at an airport in Hawaii and at a wildlife refuge in Washington. “What we are seeing — it’s unbelievable,”  said Denver Holt, head of the Owl Research Institute in Montana.

The surge of snowy owl sightings in the lower 48 has been a boon for birders — and the local communities where the birds are spotted. ”For the last couple months, every other visitor asks if we’ve seen a snowy owl today,” said Frances Tanaka, a volunteer for the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Olympia, Washington.

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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5:14AM PDT on Apr 11, 2014


3:16AM PDT on Jul 5, 2013

thank you for the interesting article,thank you for sharing 5/7

5:07AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

very interesting post, thanks Cherise.....very alarming news

1:38PM PST on Dec 4, 2012


11:32AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

fantastic news

1:50AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

"I wonder why the lemmings intentionally fall over a cliff,lol.poor guys."..........Lidia, with all due respect, what are you talking about and what is the relevance of lemmings to snowy owls? BTW, it's a silly old wives' tale about lemmings falling off cliffs. It doesn't happen.

9:00AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

Beautiful birds the snowy owl.:). I wonder why the lemmings intentionally fall over a cliff,lol.poor guys.

2:32AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

They are indeed beautiful.

9:56AM PST on Mar 7, 2012

They are very beautiful. Thanks Cherise.

8:22AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

Incredible and indicative of the radical environmental changes emerging with climate change and related adaptation efforts.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Adorable, thank you.

Interesting but I think I'll pass on some of them. Cold coffee in the morning doesn't grab…


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