Wisconsin sees fewer snowy owls than in recent winters
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin hasn’t seen the increase in the number of snowy owls this winter that have visited the state in recent winters from their usual nesting grounds above the Arctic Circle.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports that many more of the white birds than normal visit some years, creating what the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources calls an irruption.
Nearly 240 snowy owls were reported in the winter of 2014-15, and nearly 250 were spotted in 2015-16. Department officials say this winter’s more than 50 owls is a more standard number.
Karla Bloem, executive director of the Houston-based International Owl Center, says researchers used to think this happened because of a lack of food in Canada, but that the latest research has shown that it’s probably because of the stability of food in Canada.
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