Bird watchers seeing influx of snowy owls

Wisconsin wildlife officials say bird watchers are logging another influx of snowy owls from Canada.

Department of Natural Resources officials say about 55 snowy owls have been reported in Wisconsin through Dec. 8. That compares with 30 to 35 owls by same date last year.

DNR researchers say the state is on the western edge of a massive irruption of snowy owls from the Great Lakes east to the Atlantic coast.

Experts aren’t sure what’s behind the irruption, but speculate a robust supply of lemmings — the owls’ favorite prey — in Canada led to many young that are now dispersing south to find their own territory and food. Another possibility is lemming populations are so low birds are flying south to find food.