Snowy owls are majestic birds that mostly live in the Arctic regions of North America and the Euro-Siberian region. But recently, birdwatchers didn’t need to go this far to see one in person. They could just stop by Cypress, a small city near Los Angeles.
A lone snowy owl was first spotted in Cypress in late December. The bird immediately became a buzz of the city, amazing the bystanders with its beauty and surprising those who knew how rare it is to see a snowy owl this far from the Arctic.
“It’s like seeing Santa Claus on a beach,” said marine biologist and Cypress native Nancy Caruso told the New York Times. “Like that out of place, but cool.”
Snowy owls regularly migrate during winter, but they usually don’t go past the Northern U.S. states. But it appears one decided to continue flying to California, although no one knows why.
There have been several theories, including that the bird “hitched a ride” on a ship or that it was kept as an exotic pet and then released.
Cypress has been a home for this snowy owl for the past several weeks, but experts don’t expect it to stay for long. At one point, they say the bird will simply fly away, never to be seen again. But until then, it is the most famous citizen of Cypress.