For the casual birdwatcher, any general uptick in a species' transient Cleveland population is cause to grab the binoculars and get outside. Right now, there's a nice surge in snowy owls along the north shore — more than typical for this time of year, in fact.
It's not yet clear why the population has increased so dramatically along Lake Erie this year, but it seems that the owls' breeding season up in the Arctic was particularly active.
Here in Cleveland, the best spots to see these snowy owls are along the lake (Wendy Park, Whiskey Island, East 55th St. Marina) and, oddly enough, at the airport.
took a turn toward National Geographic
this past summer in an expansive feature
that linked birdwatching to climate change solutions.
Here's Cleveland Metroparks naturalist Jen Brumfield with more snowy owl information: