For birders, snowy owl irruption is best seen at MSP airport

Sharon Stiteler scans for snowy owls
Sharon Stiteler scans for snowy owls using binoculars inside of the aircraft viewing area of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. The 2 picnic tables and benches are a hot commodity for birders showing up to watch snowy owls, as the barb wire fence obstructs the view of the airstrip.
Evan Frost | MPR News

This winter is proving to be an irruption year for snowy owls in Minnesota. Every few years, the populations of the birds increases so dramatically that they expand their range south from the Arctic.

For birders in Minnesota, one prime spot to see snowy owls is the MSP airport.

"To many northern species," wrote Sharon Stiteler in Audubon magazine, "the stark, flat space of an airfield resembles their home on the Arctic tundra."

The best time to see them is between Thanksgiving and Easter, and MSP airport has an official Aircraft Viewing Area that is utilized as much by birders as aviation enthusiasts.

To listen to Weber's interview with Stiteler use the audio player above.

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