The Verrazano Narrows Bridge area seems to be a hotbed of wildlife activity—a deer, a whale, and a kitten are just some of the recent sightings to happen over there. And now a Sheepshead Bites reader spotted this Snowy Owl by bridge, at the entrance of New York Harbor. The site wonders what it's doing here, noting:
Snowy Owls nest in the Arctic tundra of the northernmost stretches of Alaska, Canada and Eurasia. They winter south through Canada and northern Eurasia, with irruptions occurring further south in some years. They have been reported as far south as Texas, Georgia, the American Gulf states, southern Russia, northern China, and even the Caribbean.
So what's he/she doing in New York City? Well, as of 2009, sightings of Snowy Owls have been on the rise in the state, from Buffalo to Long Island. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, John Ozard, said at the time, "Every winter, New York receives some influx of Snowy Owls. But this year, anecdotally, there seems to be more of these birds around than usual," believing that they were dealing with too much competition for food in the Arctic—"when there are excess birds, the young are sort of kicked out of their territory and head south." [via Bensonhurst Bean]
And speaking of Owls, take a moment to watch this: