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Rare owls arrive in Michigan for winter

Audubon Great Lakes
Female snowy owl

Its owl viewing season in Michigan as many rare birds from the Artic head south for the winter

The call of the Great Horned Owl. If you’d like to see these rare birds in Michigan as well as hear them, Erin Rowan Ford with Audubon Great Lakes says January and February are the best times for an owling trip.

“We have some rare visitors from farther north like snowy owls, boreal owls, great gray owls and northern hawk owls that overwinter across Canada and into Michigan for our warmer, balmier weather.

One of the best places to view these rare owls is the eastern Upper Peninsula with lots of state game and wildlife areas open to the public.

If you can’t get to the UP, now is still the time to watch - and listen - for owls around the state.

“These larger raptors actually start nesting in the winter so they’ll be hooting and calling at dawn and dusk to start establishing their nesting territories and find a mate.”

If you are lucky enough to spot an owl, Ford asks that you give them some space, and don’t lure them with recorded calls or food. Just enjoy the rare treat.

“They are so beautiful too. Those bright golden eyes. There’s just something about them. Yeah, it’s very special.”

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