Wisconsin is experiencing a blizzard of snowy owls this year, with more than 100 found statewide since Oct. 20. Seeing one is a great thrill but remember to minimize stress on them by not approaching too closely.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hearing concerns that people are getting too close to snowy owls, adding to the stress, and a number of them are already being brought into DNR offices with injuries or poor health and going to bird rehabilitation experts.
While the specific distance varies by situation, you are too close if the bird becomes alert, spends time watching you, and/or flushes from its perch. Learn more about finding and respectfully viewing snowy owls on the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov.
Flocks of snow buntings have also been reported. These plump songbirds possess lots of white in their plumage which when are in a flock suggests the image of a swirling snowstorm.