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OverSword

Southern Invasion Arctic-Dwelling Snowy Owls

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From the article:

Reports from tens of thousands of bird-counting volunteers show a southern invasion of Arctic-dwelling snowy owls has spread to 25 states, and frigid cold is causing unusual movements of waterfowl.

Results are still coming in from the four-day annual Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. Sponsors say the event, which ended Monday, drew participants from a record 127 countries, surpassing last year’s 110. Most were from the U.S. and Canada.

Preliminary results show more than 2,500 snowy owls being reported in 25 states and seven Canadian provinces. The big white owls are in the midst of an irruption, or a sudden invasion of a region in large numbers, which scientists attribute to a population boom in the birds and a scarcity of their preferred food, lemmings, in their normal range on the Arctic tundra.

snowy-owl-flying-across-a-field-in-falling-snow.jpg

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Beautiful animals.

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Gorgeous bird! Look at those feet and claws!!! Look like a Big Cat's foot. lol

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I think the count in Maine was 8 this year, if not more. They are spectacular looking creatures. One of them got itself locked into a building in downtown Portland and there was great effort expended to allow the poor thing to escape, which it finally did.

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Beautiful markings.

I once seen a snowy owl land a few feet from me as it came out of the woods. Our house at the time was near some woods) and it was totally white so I am guessing it was quite the mature one.

We stared at one another in surprise for a few seconds before it turned and flew silently into the woods again. Never seen it or any others like it again.

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They're so beautiful. I saw my first one a few weeks ago here, right in the middle of the city sitting on top of a telephone pole. It's amazing the things you can notice when you just look up once in a while.

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