Beautiful snowy owls which are common in Canada and rare to the United States are being spotted here in the states in our frigid January 2014 weather. On January 24, 2014 a snowy owl was spotted lounging on a ledge out at the Washington Post headquarters.
It made the evening news as many people spotted a snowy owl in the Washington, D.C. downtown area on Wednesday. People crowded around to get a good view of the owl. I saw it on television and it was magnificently beautiful!
The polar vortex had a following as the snowy owl tagged along to enjoy itself in various areas of the east coast. The owls have flown south by the record numbers this year, according to Pennsylvania-based naturalist Scott Weidensaul.
Weidensaul says, “The mass migration is due to the fact that food at the owls’ breeding grounds was plentiful during this past breeding season.”
During a normal breeding season, a female owl lays up to eight eggs, and this makes less food available to feed all of their babies; and hatchlings tend to cannibalize their smaller siblings.
Scientists believe that enough food was available this year and most of their babies survived.
Weidensaul stated, “There was a massive, massive production of young owls this year.
He also said, “It rapidly became clear that this is the largest irruption that we’re likely to see in our lifetime.”
This sent a chill up my spine as I heard this on the news because I might not have been there in person but I got an excellent view by television. I’ll never forget the beauty of this majestic owl perched up on an out of a building. I hope children, teens and adults got a view of it too.
The snowy owl has been seen at Reagan National Airport, Virginia Beach area, in the northeast Florida area and other areas of the east coast.
The owl requires up to 12 small rodents a day to be able to survive. They’ll head back north in March and April – glad I had a chance to see one and to read about it.
The writer of this article is Barbara Kasey Smith and it is based on a CBS News report and the Delray.patch.com for the sightings in the area.
(1) CBS News
(2) Delray.patch.com for the sightings