Unaccustomed to their new surroundings, immature snowy owls "land in weird places," Brady said.
"We're seeing a fair number of pictures of them sitting on people's cars," he said.
Adult snowy owls are more skittish, he said.
Erickson said snowy owls can be stressed by too much human activity nearby. If you see one, she said, it's best to remain in your car and take photos through the window rather than to get out. Some birders don't readily share locations of the owls they've located to prevent crowds from gathering. And there's an ongoing debate among photographers about the ethics of using bait -- such as a mouse -- in order to draw the owls closer.
The snowy owl
Description: Mostly white, large, round-headed, with small yellow eyes; male's plumage often broken with dark bars or spots.
Length: 23 inches
Wingspan: 52-60 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
Breeding territory: Open tundra
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