Rare snowy owl spotted in Connecticut - WSMV Channel 4

Rare snowy owl spotted in Connecticut

Posted: Updated:
MILFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Bird watchers, who were armed with powerful binoculars, flocked to the Connecticut shoreline Thursday in search of the snowy white owls.

The snowy white owl is a bird more native to the Arctic Circle, not the Connecticut coast.

"They're here," said Katie Walker of Easton. "There's such an abundance this year."

Milen Bull of the Connecticut Audubon Society is an expert on snowy whites. The members of the Connecticut Audubon Society call the owls in the state being a "phenomenon."

Or an eruption that happens when a group of birds temporarily moves into an area where they're not usually seen.

"There are several theories for why they're here," Bull said. "One theory is that there's a lot of food in the Arctic and owls produced lots of young. Those young then have to go out and find food."

Bull explained that the icy tundra snowy white owls normally have a diet of lemmings. However, the lemmings have been depleted. So the birds fly here looking for food such as field mice and small rodents.

A reporter for our sister station in Springfield spotted a snowy white owl Wednesday in Springfield.

"It's a long flight," Bull said. "Think about north of the Arctic Circle these birds have come from in many cases they haven't seen humans until they get down here."

The only ones Eyewitness News spotted on Thursday were on a print by the late Roger Tory Peterson of Old Lyme. The copy donated by Connie Wood, who saw her first snowy white 20 years ago.

"The snowy owl was actually out there in the marsh the first time we saw it," Wood said. "They fly around."

Bird experts advise if you see a snowy white owl don't disturb it. They have keen eyes and ears and are always hunting for food.

The snowy white owl is only expected to be around a few more weeks.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.