The snowy owl is one of the most beautiful creatures of the north, and these majestic birds, having had a record hatch in Canada, are now faced with a shortage of natural prey. Snowy owls are as powerful as they are beautiful, and are capable of flying away with a squirrel, rabbit, or house cat. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology does extensive research on birds and presents all the details.

snowyowlWe’re experiencing what could be the largest-ever influx of Arctic Snowy Owls into the Northeast and the Great Lakes states. And more may be on the way. The killing of some owls at New York City airports has resulted in an outcry against the practice, which was deemed necessary to protect passengers after instances when owls were sucked into plane engines. Now that the Port Authority has announced it will move toward non-lethal trap and release methods, the logical question to ask is, “What next?”

Dr. Kevin McGowan, a biologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology says:  “We applaud the move by the Port Authority to pursue non-lethal methods of removing Snowy Owls from JFK and LaGuardia airports. This is essential to reduce risk to people, and it also preserves the lives of these magnificent raptors.”

“The sudden influx of these birds, called an ‘irruption,’ may be the first wave.

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Photo: California Institute of Technology (directly above)

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Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.