Rare Snowy Owl Shows Up In California For The First Time In 100 Years

A rare sighting of a snowy owl recently occurred in an Orange County neighborhood, marking the first snowy owl sighting in California in 100 years!

According to the SF Gate, the individual owl was found on a roof in a neighborhood in Cypress, some 25 miles outside of Los Angeles.

Photo: YouTube/KTLA 5

The owl attracted large crowds from curious onlookers and bird enthusiasts. People flocked to the house with professional equipment, like cameras and binoculars, to catch a glimpse and document the rare bird sighting

While no one is sure how the bird got to Southern California, there are some speculations.

Photo: YouTube/KTLA 5

Speaking with the LA Times, a volunteer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dee Dee Salisbury, said:

“It’s not unheard of for a migratory bird to become turned around or blown off-course. Most of the northwest U.S. did just experience a blizzard/storm this past weekend, so there’s a possibility it could have followed the cold front down.”

Photo: YouTube/KTLA 5

Others believe the bird could have been hanging out on a southbound freighter ship and coincidentally wound up in Southern California.

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, snowy owls live and nest in the far north arctic regions of the world, including around the North Pole. There, they feed on lemmings, Arctic hares, mice, ducks and seabirds.

Photo: Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters License: CC BY 2.0

During the off-season, the owls migrate south down to Canada and parts of the Northern U.S. But every so often, an individual will be spotted further outside its range – like the owl spotted in Southern California.

You can see the owl for yourself in the video below:

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