CARROLL, Iowa- Normally in the state of Iowa, you don’t see many Snowy Owls coming down from the cold arctic.
This year there have been many more sightings reported across Iowa in the past few weeks.
“Actually it since late October and currently, there are somewhere between 50 and 70 snowy owls in Iowa ,” said Mattt Wetrich, Carroll County Naturalist, for the Carroll County Conservation Board. “Right now that’s up considerably from the average winter, where all the way through March we might see a small handful, maybe 10 or less birds.”
Wetrich has been posting reports of Snowy Owls found in Iowa on the Iowa Ornithologists website.
Some Snowy Owls have been injured after being hit by a vehicle, while hunting for prey along Iowa’s roadways.
One such Snowy Owl was injured in 2011, the last great influx of the birds. Borealis is now a mature Snowy Owl, and visits classrooms for outreach about the bird.
“He is cold adapted even though we have a nice cool day he still panting he’s warm,” said Kay Neumann of the Soar Raptor Center. “There is a huge insulated layer, the middle of July we have our 95° days under 4% humidity he gets to stay in air-conditioning.”
If you’d like to know more about Snowy Owls, you can contact the SOAR Center here.