Sunday, July 13, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

You can't keep Philly the Snowy Owl away from the Philly airport

Last we left our flighty friends, the noble snowy owls, Lancaster's birders were tripping over themselves to get a look. Here in Philly, though, the feathery little dudes come to us. And at least one just can't seem to leave us alone.

You can’t keep Philly the Snowy Owl away from the Philly airport

A snowy owl, of the same species as Philly, who the Philadelphia Airport can´t seem to get rid of.
A snowy owl, of the same species as Philly, who the Philadelphia Airport can't seem to get rid of.

Last we left our flighty friends, the noble snowy owls, Lancaster’s birders were tripping over themselves to get a look. Here in Philly, though, the feathery little dudes come to us. And at least one just can’t seem to leave us alone.

Philly, a juvenile snowy owl with a five-foot wingspan, was captured outside the Philly airport on January 9 before being trucked back to Salisbury Township for relocation. Philly didn’t take that so well, though. 

Instead of perching up and sticking around, Philly made the flight back to the City of Brotherly Love after just two days of rest out in the country. According to Lancaster Online, he most likely came back because “the rodents are presumably more ample.” Jealous much?

Not really. As it turns out, Philly is the very first snowy owl in Pennsylvania hooked up to a GPS, so conservationists have been watching his every move. With Philly counting as one of three captured snowies, that number is likely to increase. In the meantime, though, you can follow Philly over at the Project Snowstorm site.

Snowy owls typically are drawn to airports because they mimic  the flat, clear landscapes the species ordinarily inhabits. However, it’s a pretty dangerous spot for a bird to be, so you can understand the concern in removing them. Judging by his return, however, Philly doesn’t. 

So keep a lookout for Philly next time your down by the airport. You might just catch a glimpse of what has inadvertently become our unofficial spirit animal. Eagles were played out anyway.

[Lancaster Online]

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Nick Vadala Philly.com
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