It’s been a big year for snowy owls. People have reported seeing thousands of the magnificent Arctic birds, from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., all the way to the island of Bermuda.
Researchers say there are more owls this season than anyone has seen in 50 years. They call a population boom like this an irruption. The question for many people has been, why is it happening?
The owls started showing up last fall. Most years, bird watchers on Presque Isle, north of Erie, hike out to the easternmost point, and with luck, spot one or two snowy owls. John Laskos says last November, the first owl showed up, then they spotted another.
“Soon there were five, and then there were six, and then there was eight, and then there were up to 13 to 15 snowy owls all at one time at the park.”