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Environment & Energy

Northeast Ohio Sees an Influx of Snowy Owls

Photo of Snowy Owl
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
/
AUDUBON

A record number of snowy owls are stopping in Northeast Ohio due to a biological phenomenon.

The owls are native to the Arctic. It’s normal to see one or two in Northeast Ohio during the winter. This year, 18 have been spotted in the Cleveland area just since Thanksgiving.

Marty Calabrese, a naturalist at Cleveland Metroparks, says the reason is owls had more to eat this summer, which led to more offspring.  

There’s more snowy owls so their distribution is reaching further south. And we call that irruption with an I.

Calabrese says the owls are not invasive, and are commonly seen along Lake Erie shore. They are expected to stay until March.