Snowy Owl Sightings Likely to Increase

(AP) — Wildlife officials say Indiana and other Midwestern states are seeing an influx of snowy owls, an all-white raptor native to the Arctic that’s rarely seen south of Lake Michigan.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologist Allisyn Gillet says the striking owls are migrating south from northern Canada during what’s called an irruption, which the owls cycle through every four to five years.

Researchers say this year’s irruption could be larger than the last one, seen in the winter of 2013-14.

During that winter owls came down to the U.S. East Coast and the Great Lakes, among other spots. Early patterns indicate that this year’s trend could be centered more on the Great Lakes.

Scientists advise staying a minimum of 100 yards (90 meters) from the birds.