Snowy Owls, normally Arctic birds, have moved into the 'lower 48' this winter. They've been spotted in large numbers all across the country, and the Syracuse area has visitors, too.
Normally we see one bird every couple of years. This year, there are three at Hancock Airport. The birds, which are about 2 feet tall, sit in full view. Unlike our native owls, they are daytime hunters. Favorite perches include the light towers on the ends of the Hancock terminal building. When they sit in the melting snow piles, you can see how their speckles camouflage them (look at the slide show!). After we ran the story on Saturday's Weekend Today in Central New York, we got an email from a Hancock worker who says he's seen them perch on the tails of the UPS and FedEx jets, too.
Our pictures are courtesy Onondaga Audubon member Bob Asanoma.