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Article Round-Up: Snowy Owl in California

A collection of some of the articles about the Snowy Owl that was seen in southern California in late winter 2022/early 2023.

Denver traveled to California to give a presentation about his decades of Snowy Owl research, which you can watch online here:


January 2023 | Laura Coffey,

From the article:

“Denver Holt, the founder and president of the Owl Research Institute, was scheduled to give a talk on snowy owls Thursday at the Cypress Community Center.

“Hopefully she makes it back, maybe to my area of ​​study and breeds,” Holt said.

Holt said he knew it could take care of itself. He has more than three decades of experience studying birds in Alaska.”

January 19, 2023 | Erika I. Ritchie, The Orange County Register

From the article:

“Denver Holt, founder and president of The Owl Research Institute in Montana, was also disappointed the owl was not in the neighborhood when he arrived with Borde ahead an “Owl Talk” Thursday night that had been planned after all the interest in the owl.

He was equally perplexed about what made the bird, which he said he identified as a young female, probably born in June, pick the neighborhood. While he doesn’t know precisely what brought her to Southern California, he said most young owls are left on their own by their parents in about September and are “programmed to migrate.”

Typically, Canada or the northern-latitude states such as Montana would be likely winter spots, but in her case, Holt said he thinks she “likely just kept going.” Records show that snowy owls have been recorded in Northern California, Texas, Florida and even Bermuda, Holt said.”

January 20, 2023 | Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times

From the article: “How or why she flew south is anyone’s guess, said Denver Holt, founder and lead researcher of the Owl Research Institute. The owl’s feathers appeared healthy, which probably rules out that she was kept in captivity, and there didn’t appear to be any type of tags on her feet, he said.

She appears to be about 7 months old, and based on her age, this is probably her first migration and first foray into Southern California, said Holt, who gave a lecture on the owl in Cypress on Thursday.

There have been snowy owl sightings in parts of Texas and Florida, but a snowy owl spotted in a densely populated residential area of California is rare, Holt said.”

January 26, 2023 | David N. Young, Event-NewsEnterprise

From the article:

"The Snowy owl spent a great deal of time on Pitcairn Street this past weekend, but just follow the cameras and you’ll find Snowy.

In fact, the bird has generated so much interest that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has reached deep into the hills of Montana to find Denver Holt, an owl expert, to make a presentation Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Cypress Community Center.

“CDFW is partnering with Sea and Sage Audubon Society to host the event with Denver Holt, said Tim Daly, a public information officer with CDFW. “Denver is recognized as a top expert and researcher on owl issues,” said Daly."

January 26, 2023 | David N. Young, Event-NewsEnterprise

From the article:

"By now, Snowy the Owl is likely winging her way back to the Arctic tundra, but according to Holt, there is a better-than-even chance the Snowy Owl could return.

“She’s programmed to go back,” Holt reassured one young resident, who was worried that the poor owl might be able to find her way home. “She could take the same route to get home as she came here,” he said.

Holt said there are any number of potential routes the Snowy Owl could have taken to get here, even through Russia, but he thinks the young owl flew straight down the Pacific Coast."


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