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Snowy Owls Coming South For Food, Say Experts

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Some people as far south as Tenessee might be surprised to see an unusual bird in their backyards this spring. Great Snowy Owls have been spotted this year in some very extraordinary places, thanks to what experts are saying is a perfectly normal occurrence in nature, according to CBS.

There has been an especially wild influx of the beautiful creatures in New Jersey. They have been attracting large crowds to the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge in Galloway Township just outside Atlantic City.

“It’s certainly a special big year for snowy owls,” Donald Freiday with the US Fish and Wildlife Service said of the phenomena. “We think that the reason there are so many snowy owls in New Jersey… is because they had a really good year this year up in the Arctic where they breed. And when that happens, they produce lots of offspring. There’s competition for food among them and they come south as a result.”

Amateur birdwatchers, lovers of nature, and simply curious spectators have had a great time waiting with cameras and binoculars for a peek at the Snowy Owls.

“It’s actually pretty special to have snow owls in New Jersey,” Freiday said late last year, when the owls first started showing up. “We normally in a given winter will have between none and three. This year, the whole state there are as many as 30.”

According to National Geographic, the Snowy Owl has a definite preference for lemming. In fact, it states that an adult “may eat more than 1,600 lemmings a year, or three to five every day. The birds supplement their diet with rabbits, rodents, birds, and fish.”

The competition for food is really the driving force for the unusual migration, he said. “It’s certainly a special big year for snowy owls,” Freiday said. “We think that the reason there are so many snowy owls in New Jersey… is because they had a really good year this year up in the Arctic where they breed. And when that happens, they produce lots of offspring. There’s competition for food among them and they come south as a result.”

If you live up north, keep your eyes peeled and your binoculars handy. You just might get a peek at one of these majestic creatures in your own backyard!

Image Via YouTube

Snowy Owls Coming South For Food, Say Experts
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