Birders get a rare glimpse of Snowy Owl in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -{}Arkansas birders coming from near and far to catch a glimpse of an owl only seen a handful of times in the past several decades.

Wednesday is a day dozens of birders will never forget. That's because right here in Little Rock they were able to set their eyes one of the most widely sought after birds, one you're lucky to see even once in your lifetime.

"I thought wow, that's all I had to say. Can't believe it, still can't," said Terry Butler, a birder.

The sight of it left birders in disbelief.

"Never have I seen a Snowy Owl before," said Allison Fowler, of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

And had experts feeling complete.

"Now I can die happy. I have always wanted to see a Snowy Owl in the wild," said Karen Rowe, of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

To say the Snowy Owl's rare visit to Arkansas was welcomed may be an understatement.

"This is probably one of the rarest and most hoped for rarities to occur here in Arkansas in the birding world," said Rowe.

Nature-enthusiasts, both young and old, came to catch a glimpse of the snowy owl who is typically found in the Tundra.{}Wednesday it was perched on a wind turbine at{}LM Wind Power in Little Rock.

"I was super excited, I was like jumping up and down," said Shelby Tripcony.

It was like an early Christmas present for these young birders.

"It was really exciting since it has been here for, well, it just hasn't been here in a long time," said Garrett Tripcony, Shelby's brother.

Such a long time it's hard for some to keep track. Experts say only seven of these majestic birds have been spotted in Arkansas since the fifties. So birder or not, here's a suggestion.

"You should be here," said Shelby Tripcony.

Experts speculate that the bird may be so far south because of the scarcity of food and over population up north. They also think it landed on the wind turbine because it may have looked like snow drifts from high up. Either way it was a rare and pleasant surprise for birders.

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