Snowy owl goes south

Mark Rightmire/Orange County Register/TNS

A snowy owl perches on the top of a chimney of a home in Cypress, California, on Dec. 27, 2022, as bird watchers and photographers gathered on the street below to see the unusual sight never before seen in Southern California.

In the last two weeks, a female snowy white owl has been living off a diet of rats and gophers, likely hunted on a nearby Navy base and golf course.

The owl, which raptor experts believe is about a year old, has been roosting on rooftops about two miles away in the city of Cypress, California, in Orange County. Snowy owls are typically found in the vast grasslands and wetlands above the Arctic Circle and it is believed this is the first recorded this far south, prompting bird enthusiasts and others to flock for a glimpse.

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