Experts call it a “winter invasion.” Snowy owls descended this year from their Arctic range to spots all over the northern U.S. — from Minnesota to the Maritimes, the Great Lakes and down the Atlantic Coast. In Washington DC, a snowy landed on a window ledge at the Washington Post and garnered plenty of media attention, as well as sidewalk onlookers, who lamented when she became injured (then went to a wildlife rehab unit). The Lower 48 is a dangerous place – airports and runways, interstates teeming with trucks, even the food supply the snowies are seeking when they wander south (mice, rats) dosed with lethal poison from bait traps.
Writer Scott Weidensaul tracks the fascinating why’s and how’s of this year’s epic migration of these avian nomads in the March/April Audubon. Check out the Photo Gallery too. And if you’re really hooked, join the fray at Project SNOWstorm, which includes updates about tagged owls and research.