Ornithologists rejoice! The Port Authority just announced it will stop shooting dead these adorable little white-plumed creatures who have the unfortunate habit of hanging out at our local airports.
This comes after a story in the New York Daily News revealed the agency had been culling the birds to control the population.
Snowy owls, known for their winter white plumage, piercing yellow eyes and five-foot wing span, have been settling in at JFK, Newark Liberty and La Guardia airports in unusually high numbers while they migrate from the Arctic. Erin Crotty, executive director of Audubon New York said trapping and releasing the birds has been successful at other airports.
"Oftentimes in a trap and release situation, when you're releasing in an equally suitable habitat, the bird will acclimate and use that habitat," Crotty said.
Crotty said the birds are attracted to the wide open spaces and ample supply of small rodents at the airports. The Port Authority says that over the past two weeks, five planes at JFK, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia airports have been struck by snowy owls.
Audubon New York said the birds have also been spotted at Floyd Bennett Field, Breezy Point Tip and Bayonne, New Jersey.
A snowy owl.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.