Photos: Rare snowy owl spotted in Chattanooga

A snowy owl spotted in Chattanooga perches on a roof in the Highway 58 area of Chattanooga on Monday. He's the first documented snow owl in Hamilton County. / Photo contributed by Kathleen Greeson
A snowy owl spotted in Chattanooga perches on a roof in the Highway 58 area of Chattanooga on Monday. He's the first documented snow owl in Hamilton County. / Photo contributed by Kathleen Greeson

The first confirmed snowy owl in Hamilton County was spotted on Monday.

Kevin Calhoon, the assistant curator of forests at the Tennessee Aquarium, said there were people from all over the U.S. headed to the Chattanooga area to catch a glimpse of the bird.

Snowy owls typically spend most of the year around the Arctic and have been known to come near the Great Lakes and throughout New England during the winter months, Calhoon said. Its winter migration almost never leads this far south, but its presence here could be for any number of reasons, such as a population boom this season or a shortage of lemmings, the owl's preferred prey.

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