Arctic snowy owl gets its own reality show on the Internet

"For the first time ever, the much revered and supremely elusive Snowy Owl is now accessible to any bird watcher," researchers announced.
By Brooks Hays   |   July 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM  |  Updated July 3, 2014 at 10:29 PM   |   Comments

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BARROW, Alaska, July 3 (UPI) -- For 23 years, Denver Holt -- a researcher at the Owl Research Institute in Charlo, Montana -- has been traveling to Alaska's northern tundra to study Arctic snow owls and their main prey, brown lemmings. But never before has he been able to observe them all night and all day from anywhere with an Internet connection.

"You're not able to watch the birds 24/7, even with 24 hours of daylight," Holt recently told CBC News. "By having the camera, it just opens up another avenue and more periods of time we're able to look and record."

The camera Holt speaks of -- which went live this week -- is the latest offering from Explore.org, the media division of the Annenberg Foundation, and its Pearls of the Planet programming, which points high-resolution cameras at wildlife all over the globe. Their newest subject is the majestic-looking Arctic snowy owl and its nest, which lies along the coast of the Artic Ocean near Barrow, Alaska, and now features six owl chicks.

"For the first time ever, the much revered and supremely elusive Snowy Owl is now accessible to any bird watcher," explore.org announced in a blog post this week.

The regal-looking Snowy owls -- the species that delivers mail to Harry Potter -- spend their summers in the Arctic, where they nest. The female guards the chicks, while the male hunts for food. In the winter, they move south, but not to anywhere warm. They wait out the cold season blending in to snow-covered fields and marshes, hunting rodents until its time to return north to mate and nest once again.

Topics: Harry Potter
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