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Science

Real Snowbird in Southern California? Snowy Owl to Be Exact

December 30, 2022

CYPRESS, Calif. — Snowbirds are a common sight in Southern California in wintertime — except when they’re actually a bird. A snowy owl to be exact.

Crowds of bird-watchers have been showing up regularly in an Orange County neighborhood to gawk at a snowy owl, a species normally found around the Arctic, Canada and several northern U.S. states.

It’s current home is a rooftop perch in the balmy city of Cypress.

“It is absolutely unique as a bird observation,” Vic Leipzig, who teaches birding at Saddleback College, told The Orange County Register this week.

The newspaper reported that local bird experts speculated that the owl could have arrived in Southern California aboard a ship or could be a captive bird that escaped.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see,” Leipzig said. “That there were so many people standing there watching this thing was very thrilling to me.”

 

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