Rare owl spotted several times in Washington, DC since early January

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You don’t see that every day.

A rare owl has been sighted multiple times in Washington, DC over the past week. The bird has been spotted at some of the city’s popular monuments.

Among other things, the owl has been spotted on a bronze eagle at the top of a flagpole.
(AP photo / Carolyn Kaster)

A snow owl has apparently been flying around the country’s capital since January 3rd. According to an Associated Press report, the little owl was spotted in places like Union Station, the National Postal Museum, and the Capital Police Headquarters.

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At one point the owl was spotted on a bronze eagle on top of a flagpole, resulting in some very patriotic photos.

The snowy owl is native to areas much further north. It can usually be spotted in Canada or the arctic tundra. The birds are known to migrate south in winter, but they usually stay near the Great Lakes region.

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Residents of the country's capital have spotted the rare bird at Union Station, the Postal Museum and the Main Police headquarters.

Residents of the country’s capital have spotted the rare bird at Union Station, the Postal Museum and the Main Police headquarters.
(AP photo / Carolyn Kaster)

However, this is not the first time any of these birds have been sighted this far south. Snow owl sightings have been reported in North Carolina and Kentucky.

Some experts suggested that the owl hunted the city’s rat population. Usually, the owls feed on lemmings, although they will hunt other prey when the lemmings are few. These experts also worried that the owl might stay in the city too long as it might fall prey to certain urban hazards that it may not be used to.

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Snowy owls usually migrate south in winter, but usually no further south than the Great Lakes region.

Snowy owls usually migrate south in winter, but usually no further south than the Great Lakes region.
(AP photo / Carolyn Kaster)

For example, since the birds usually live near the Arctic, they are not used to avoiding cars or other human-controlled vehicles.

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