Keep an Eye Out for Snowy Owls in Central Minnesota
The Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program shared on Facebook that snowy owls like to spend their winters in the top half of our state:
Snowy owls will be arriving in Minnesota over the next few weeks. During the summer, they nest in the arctic tundra of northern Canada and Alaska. From early November to late March, some migrate south to Minnesota to hunt voles, mice, and other small animals.
Central Minnesota is sort of the cut-off line as far as how south they go, which makes sense. They are arctic creatures and they want to stay in the climate most similar to the one they are designed for.
When it comes to spotting a snowy owl, look to buildings or utility poles. They also have been perched on the ground before as well. They can be tough to spot once it snows because of their excellent camouflage. They are also silent during winter migration so you might not hear them hoot at all.
Another challenge to spotting them is that they don't have the same migration pattern every year. Some years many snowy owls visit Minnesota, other years almost none come here. But on exceptionally cold and snowy years they have been seen as far south as southern Minnesota. It's really a gamble to spot these elusive birds, but it would be so worth it to see one in person.