An unexpected visitor caused a flurry of excitement outside Carlisle Pennsylvania in the US.
Another RARE snowy owl was spotted in Middlesex Township, PA, drawing about a dozen birders and photographers from all over.
Typically found in the Arctic and parts of Canada, the bird is the largest North American owl by weight.
While unexpected, the Cornell Lab’s All About Birds webpage indicates snowy owls can roam as far as Pennsylvania and parts further south in some winters.
Snowy owls have bristles on their beaks help them sense nearby objects.
The beak (nearly covered by facial feathers) is hooked and used for gripping prey and tearing flesh.
Needing insulation from Arctic temperatures, snowy owls have a lot of feathers. This makes them one of the heaviest owl species in North America.
Their feet are covered with feathers, like fluffy slippers. This provides ample insulation for the cold Arctic climate.
Their wingspan is 4-5 feet on average. These powerful wings help them silently sneak up on or accelerate after prey.
Females remain with their young until they grow into adults, bringing them food and protecting them from predators.
Young owls, especially males, get whiter as they get older.
Females are darker than males, with dusky spotting, and never become totally white. Some elderly males do become completely white, though many retain small flecks of dusky plumage.