Move over, hot duck of Manhattan. There’s a chill snowy owl in DC that’s the newest avian internet sensation.
Who-hoo? If you haven’t been following bird Twitter—and really, you should—the rare raptor, apparently female, has been causing quite a stir since her arrival in the nation’s capitol, thrilling bird enthusiasts and un-enthusiasts alike (also allegedly eating rats, which is universally helpful). Snowy owls are native to northern climes like the Arctic and rarely seen this far south—although a few have been spotted around here in recent years. Sadly, a snowy owl was hit by a DC bus in 2014. That owl was sent to rehab, released, and subsequently died in Minnesota.
According to the Washington Post, this owl arrived in December, showing up at Arlington’s National Airport, the area around McMillan Reservoir, and the National Mall. Union Station now seems to be her primary perch. Majestic! Which is not something we ever say about Amtrak.
— Andrew Mergen (@AndrewMergen) January 6, 2022
Washington’s OG snowy owl Twitter sprang back to life. @DCSnowyOwl has been pretty quiet since the last, ill-fated snowy owl sighting in DC.
Hey, I am back and hunting around the Capitol and Union Station. See ya around dark. Send me your rats and mallards.
— DCSnowyOwlReincarnated (@DCSnowyOwl) January 6, 2022
People began braving sub-zero temperatures to spot the celebritowl.
I saw the celebrity Snowy Owl at Union Station in DC (thanks to @SahasBarve for spotting it!) It appeared for one minute and left. I didn’t get a picture but got a picture of the crowd. I could have stayed to see if it came back but it was 27F and I was cold! pic.twitter.com/ZUmlU2z7FO
— Michael McGowen (@mrmcgowen1) January 8, 2022
Some viewed the owl’s appearance as patriotic. (Of course, Fox, make it all about AMERICA.)
😍🦉A snowy owl has been seen perched on DC's Union Station, National Postal Museum, Senate buildings & Capitol Police headquarters.
The Arctic visitor was first spotted Jan. 3, when a winter storm dumped 8 inches of snow on the city. https://t.co/Jvy61819D7
— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) January 10, 2022
Even though, according to New York-based owl expert David Lei, the owl is, in fact, Canadian.
The esteemed Canadian ambassador currently visiting Washington, DC. Taken late last night. This female snowy owl being seen at Union Station reminded me of the one we had in Central Park, New York last winter.#owls #birds #birdwatching #wildlife #nature #America #USA #flag pic.twitter.com/91EvCsmOoH
— David Lei (@davidlei) January 8, 2022
And, maybe, a doppelgänger for late American insult comic Don Rickles…
— Central Park Snowy Owl (@CentralParkOwl) January 7, 2022
Anyway! Most people are simply delighted by the owl’s presence. Especially when it sits on OTHER birds—silly owl!
I've been lucky enough to get this rare bird making the rounds in DC in front of my lens. Snowy owl, a lifer for me in a very, very unlikely setting! https://t.co/AQLHGWJGPN pic.twitter.com/owbLze5kQG
— Jacques Pitteloud (@SwissAmbUSA) January 12, 2022
Experts have welcomed the opportunity to crack their eggs of knowledge.
On Friday night, the Union Station, Washington, DC snowy owl perched on a statue of Archimedes, one of six statues forming The Progress of Railroading by Louis Saint-Gaudens. The Archimedes statue represents the progress in mechanics.#owls #birds #birdwatching #wildlife #nature pic.twitter.com/gw1uVm5UJq
— David Lei (@davidlei) January 9, 2022
And the puns are just…(kisses fingers like a cartoon chef).
Owl over the place: A snowy owl apparently touring iconic buildings of the nation’s capital is captivating birdwatchers who manage to get a glimpse of the rare, resplendent visitor from the Arctic. https://t.co/HLTknEuz47 #odd
— AP Oddities (@AP_Oddities) January 11, 2022
The snowy owl isn’t just stunning. It’s also alleviating DC’s rodent problem (note to self: Smorgasbord of Rats, excellent metal band name).
If you’re reading this, snowy owl, please fly north by about 2 miles. I’ve got a FEAST for you up here. You will be living large! 🐀 🐀 🐀 pic.twitter.com/4pWqYNUrjt
— David I. Leavitt🔹 (@LeavittDC) January 11, 2022
In short: DC is owl about this snowbird. Stay as long as you like!
Last night's return visit by the Snowy Owl to DC's Union Station (rare in DC & still here!)#snowyowl #owl #washingtondc @capitalweather @spann #ThePhotoHour #stormhour #NikonNoFilter #birdphotography #birding #birdwatching #TwitterNatureCommunity #wildlifephotography pic.twitter.com/ebz2fWeRRn
— Dave Lyons (@insiteimage) January 13, 2022