The long winter has taken a toll on owls in the north woods.
Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group in Antigo says periods of sustained cold starting in December were one factor. However, Gibson says ice layers in the deep snow pack contributed to owls going hungry as the winter progressed because it made it harder for them to hunt.
Gibson says they currently have 43 owls at the facility, and others have been found that have starved to death. Gibson says male birds are being brought in for breeding. Owls have typically already mated and are usually working to raise their young this time of year.
Gibson says seeing an owl out during the day is unusual, and you may want to keep an eye on it to be sure it is alright. If you can walk up to it, Gibson says that is not normal.