JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A snowy owl is making a rare appearance in Northeast Florida.
One of the Arctic birds arrived last week in Little Talbot Island State Park and the latest sighting was Friday morning. It's only the third-ever sighting of a snowy owl confirmed in Florida.
Park services specialist Peter Maholland says bird watchers have been flocking to northeast Florida to catch a glimpse of the white bird.
"All of our birding enthusiasts are just excited, as you can imagine, to come and see something they probably wouldn't have had the chance to see in their lifetime," Maholland said. "So everyone is coming from all over the place."
Snowy Owls are familiar to children as Harry Potter's pet. They are the largest North American owl, and they're typically found in Canada and the Arctic.
While park officials encourage people to come see the bird, bring binoculars or a cane with a camera with a long lens because they are keeping people a good distance away to make sure the owl doesn't get spooked or stressed.
Experts say snowy owls fly farther south when their population spikes or their food source becomes scarce. An invasion of snowy owls has been reported this winter across the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
If you're interested in seeing the bird, do so soon, because no one knows how long it will stay. Also, stay a good distance away so the owl isn't spooked.
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