Environment
2:27 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Growing Number Of Snowy Owls Spotted In Rhode Island

A University of Rhode Island professor says the state is seeing an unprecedented number of snowy owls this year.

Snowy Owl sightings have increased throughout Rhode Island
Snowy Owl sightings have increased throughout Rhode Island
Credit Wikimedia

The snowy owl lives in the Arctic, but when its population explodes and there is stiff competition for food, many fly south. That’s what’s happened this year, where sightings of the owl have been seen as far south as Bermuda. University of Rhode Island ecology professor Peter Paton said Rhode Island has received 15 reports of sightings.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see these species. It’s a majestic species. They stand over two feet tall and they have a four foot wing span and you have this large, striking white bird sitting in the midst of a bluff,” said Paton. “So they’re an exciting species to see for us.”

Paton cautions bird-watchers not to get too close to photograph the snowy owl. They’re under a lot of stress looking for food. He said bird watchers should get no closer than 200 feet.

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