Missouri sees snowy owl increase

Missouri is seeing an increase in snowy owl sightings.

Snowy owls typically inhabit the high arctic region of North America and Eurasia, and the Show-Me-State is on the southern edge of their winter range.

The large, white owl with black markings is typically spotted once every four years in the state. Most of the owls visiting this far south are juveniles and are unfamiliar with cars and humans, meaning many do not survive to make the return trip home.

"Because they are use to wide open spaces, tundra, that doesn't have automobiles or power lines, etc., they can easily become injured by flying into power lines or being hit by cars," said Krista Noel, a Natural History Biologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is in the process of recording snowy owls spotted in the area, so if you see one, please contact the Conservation Department and let them know when and where you saw the owl, to help keep them safe.