URI Today

Monday, January 13, 2014

Snowy owl invasion puts natural resources professor in spotlight

uri today feature photo
Courtesy of Peter Paton

Natural Resources Science Professor Peter Paton has been in the news a great deal this winter providing expert commentary about an unprecedented invasion of snowy owls from the Arctic into the Northeast and Midwest. Paton has appeared in the Westerly Sun and Providence Journal and on Rhode Island Public Radio, and last week he was interviewed for a report on the owls on the CBS Evening News.

“Snowy owls are highly visible, they’re active during the day, and they’re charismatic, so their appearance in our area has generated some excitement,” he said. “And they evoke a lot of interest because of their role in the Harry Potter movies. It’s almost a mythical creature that has come down from the North.”

Standing 2 feet tall with a 5-foot wingspan, mature male snowy owls are pure white, but…


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