The snowy owl has gained much notoriety in the past 15 years or so, since worldwide phenomenon Harry Potter got a snowy owl named Hedwig as his pet in the renowned book and movie series. And apparently the snowy owls have gotten the message and are making more public appearances.
The AP reports that snowy owls have been spotted in abundance all over the United States. The owls typically arrive in the U.S. every few winters or so, but this year, they are being spotted in droves. Around 30 were spotted in December at South Dakota’s Lake Andes, which Mark Robbins, an ornithologist from the University of Kansas, says is “mind numbing,” to see so many.
Denver Holt, director of the Owl Research Institute in Montana, says the influx is due to the abundant population of Artic lemmings this year, which are the snowy owls’ primary source of food.
Reports from Missouri say there have been five snowy owls residing around Smithville Lake, which is outside Kansas City and three snowy owls at an irrigation unit at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in the northwest corner where Missouri meets Nebraska and Iowa. Robbins says he doesn’t think there’s every been two spotted at a single site in Missouri before.
We love these reports of “showers of owls.” Have you spotted any snowy owls this winter?