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At Issue: Snowy Owl Sightings - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

At Issue: Snowy Owl Sightings

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

If you're lucky, you may have seen a snowy owl in Vermont. Researchers say the birds are traveling even farther south than usual -- some even as far south as North Carolina.

We spotted one Friday afternoon in a neighborhood off of Dorset Street in South Burlington. They are Arctic birds, but when their populations spike or food is scarce, they often have to fly south and end up here.

And that means a treat for local bird watchers and neighbors.

"There's something so wild and so accessible about them. It's the snowy owl," says bird enthusiast Scott Morrical, who showed up to catch a glimpse of the bird. "First, owls I think are just really exotic creatures in people's minds and snowy owls are so unusual because they're white and they're so conspicuous when they're around. It's kind of the call of the wild, but here it is in a neighborhood."

Bird enthusiasts say a few snowy owls are seen in the U.S. each year, but this year has been particularly good.

And joining us to talk more about why we are seeing more of these birds in Vermont is Larry Clarfeld from the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier.

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