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Snowy Owls Mass in United States

Snowy Owls Mass in United States

A rare mass migration of snowy owls has bird enthusiasts traveling from Texas, Arizona and Utah to see the two-foot birds that normally spend their time looking for food in the Arctic tundra. The influx of thousands of snowy owls has been documented by many appearances in Michigan, Idaho, Montana,  Missouri, Kansas, the Pacific Northwest and Massachusetts. Some have also made it as far south as Texas, and one may have ventured all the way to Hawaii.

“What we’re seeing now — it’s unbelievable. This is the most significant wildlife event in decades,”
said owl researcher Denver Holt. (Source: Reuters) The one in Hawaii was the first to ever appear there, but was shot by federal officials  because they said it was near an airport and might interfere with planes landing and taking off.

Called an irruption, this very unusual mass migration of snowy owls isn’t fully understood yet. Speculation has been they are flying further south due to a lack of food – generally lemmings – in their traditional habitat. Another possibility is that right before the sudden absence of lemmings, the owls had a very productive breeding season, so there are far more of them than usual, and they were forced too hunt outside their normal range. It was reported in Michigan they have been eating small voles, mice and rabbits.

The irruption has been predicted to end by late March or early April, so if you are interested in traveling to an area where they might be seen there is still time. In Kansas ninety snow owls have appeared, and in Missouri there have been forty, with the previous high being eight. If you are interested in seeing them, it might be beneficial to carefully research online first, as there has already been one ‘owl jam’, with thousands of people arriving in the same area to see the rare visitors.

Snowy owls are protected by law, and it is advised to keep a safe distance from them so they don’t get scared, because in that state they use burn energy and some of them are already in a compromised state due to lack of food. Some of the owls have been found dead, and starvation was the cause.

Image Credit: Floyd Davidson/ Wiki Commons

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137 comments

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1:39PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

beautiful, thanks

4:47PM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Interesting....

5:30AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

These Showy Owls are so beautiful. I sure hope they find enough food so no more of them starve to death.

12:54PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Piękna sowa, u nas wszystkie gatunki sów są pod ochroną.

10:11PM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Let's welcome to guests of our natures !cheerssss

4:11AM PST on Feb 5, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

3:03PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

love owls hope they adapt

7:26AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Beautiful (dare I say magical) creatures!

4:55PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

love the snowy owl, I use to paint these birds, without knowing why until I did my animal totem. I believe this bird chose me as one of my spirit guides.

4:48AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

A beautiful Bird Thanks for sharing

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