Rare snowy owl perches on rooftops in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood, drawing bird watchers

Some Queen Anne residents are reporting sightings of a rare, seasonal visitor from the Arctic up on their rooftops. And no, it's not Santa Claus.

A snowy owl seems to be making the Seattle neighborhood 币圈app都有哪些home. These owls — the largest in North America by weight — are a seldom sight in Western Washington, which is just outside of their usual winter range. The bird is native to the Arctic regions of North America and usually breeds in the treeless tundra.

But according to Cornell University, the bird has been known to migrate south of the Canadian border and into the northern half of the contiguous U.S. during irruptive winters.

Described as a "once in a lifetime" sighting, bird watchers and neighbors alike are flocking to the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of the rare owl.

The owl's white and mottled brown pattern on its body appear to show that it is a female, according to Cornell's identification guide. The startling yellow eyes are a distinct feature of the species.

The owls often perch lower to the ground on dunes, telephone posts, and fence posts in order to target their prey of rodents. Flights are also often lower to the ground. With excellent hearing, the owl is often able to detect prey even under a blanket of snow.

And unlike other owls that are nocturnal, the snowy owl is diurnal and is most active at dawn and at dusk. They are also solitary creatures — except during breeding season — explaining why this new neighbor seems to like to be alone on top of the hill.

If you want to catch a sighting, be sure to bring your binoculars. Wildlife experts recommend keeping a 100-foot distance between themselves and the owl to avoid disturbing it.

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