Sunday, January 12, 2014


Snowbirds have been flocking south. And this year, that is not just a metaphor for people who spend the winter months in the warmer weather. Snowy owls, which live in the Arctic Circle and Canada, have been venturing into the southern United States since early December for reasons yet unknown to scientists. The birds have even been sighted in Florida, for the third time ever. The snowy owl (bubo scandiacus) has large talons and a wingspan of up to 5'. They normally feed on seabirds and lemmings. Either the owls have been spreading out after having a very successful breeding season or – and it is unknown whether this could be attributed to climate change – their normal food sources have been disrupted. The unusual migration is being recorded (MAP OF SIGHTINGS ABOVE) and studied by Kevin McGowan of Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, who at this point can only offer, "This is just not the normal way of things."

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