A famous snowy owl that has been making headlines since first being seen at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on December 29 has been spotted again on Ocracoke Island, per a January 18 update from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
“Seashore staff caught a glimpse of a snowy owl on a dune this morning around 8:30 a.m,” stated the update. “The owl was spotted approximately a half-mile south of Ramp 72 on Ocracoke Island.”
The snowy owl, which has been making the rounds on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands for the past several weeks, was also recently spotted on the roof of a Hatteras village resident in early January and was seen again on Ocracoke Island late last week, per the Ocracoke Observer.
Snowy owls generally live in the far north near the North Pole, and winter in southern Canada and the northern United States. About every four years, they travel south well outside their normal range in a phenomenon called “irruption.” For reasons not understood, snowy owls have been “irrupting” more often in recent years, and a few have spent several winters on Ocracoke Island and Cape Hatteras between 2014 and 2017.