News & Politics

Pentagon Chicken vs. Union Station Snowy Owl: Which Celebrity Bird Is Better?

This area ain't big enough for the both of 'em.

Photo courtesy the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

There’s a new celebrity bird in town, and she may just displace the Union Station snowy owl from Washington’s collective heart. Yesterday, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington was called to the Pentagon in response to a stray chicken that had made its way into the building’s security area.

Can the area support two hotshot birds? Here’s a list of arguments about which avian visitor reigns supreme:

Pentagon Chicken

  • We’ve got to give kudos to the bird that “almost pecked her way into one [of] the most secure buildings on earth.”
  • Not especially interested in eating rats (though I don’t want to know how many more critters would be crawling around Union Station were it not for the snowy owl).
  • No one makes a delicious Nashville-style snowy owl sandwich—nor should they.
  • Has inspired some good jokes—personal favorite is when the incident was referred to as a “clustercluck.
  • Chickens have that cool neck thing going on.

Union Station Snowy Owl

  • Birders gave it a cool nickname: Duchess (though names are being deliberated for the chicken. Best so far: Hentagon).
  • Has its own social media page, @DCSnowyOwl, with a huge following.
  • Unlike the chicken, she hasn’t been caught.
  • Has so far avoided Minnesota 
  • They’re notoriously smart animals…we can’t say the same for chickens.


  • In Harry Potter, chickens are raised as food, not as familiars.
  • They each get points for their supreme military tactics (owl: evasion, chicken: strong offense).


Have to go with Snowy Owl on this one. Respect to Pentagon Chicken for a strong showing, but a picturesque perch plus enchanting elusiveness brings home the win for our favorite owl.

Tori Bergel
Editorial Fellow