Hedwig Mania Over Influx of Snowy White Owls in US

I confess the story here about the great number of Great White Owl sightings in the United States didn’t really excite me. I’m not a ‘birder’ with a life list so the possibility of seeing birds that are a relatively rare sight in the lower 48 didn’t stir me to reschedule vacations so I could get to Hawaii (!) in order to see the bird there.

On the other hand, the ‘Shared Text’ aspect of this news is ‘in your face.’ Why does anyone care about Great White Owls now a days, beyond the hard-to-miss angelic symbolism? You got it: Hedwig.

People have always had a fascination with owls, but the book and 2001 film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in which a snowy owl named Hedwig first appeared as Harry’s companion and mail courier, thrust the species in the spotlight. Holt said the movie series helped land the winged creature a December 2002 National Geographic cover story.

“We were inundated with phone calls from people about all these kids wanting to have pet snowy owls,” Holt said. “It just went crazy for a while there.”

Right. I’d also note that these owls are magically intelligent:

There’s no good estimate on the size of their population. Holt recalls a study in which researchers working on a Canadian island found thousands of snowy owls one year, only to follow up the next year to find not a single one.

Pretty straight forward that is, right? Too many Muggle scientists on the island.

For me, though, the best part of this story was having an excuse to post the pictures of these magnificent creations at HogwartsProfessor. Maybe I will make that trip to Hawaii to see the Arctic Angel in the tropical paradise; if imagining them in the mind’s eye is this much fun, I’d love to see one in person.

Hat tip to George!

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