CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — If you’re planning on taking a trip out to Carlisle to see the gorgeous snowy owl abc27 and the Pennsylvania Game Commission would like you to keep a few things in mind. 

Snowy owls are some of the most beautiful and popular owls in the world (Harry Potter’s own owl, Hedwig, was a Snowy Owl) and occasionally visit Pennsylvania during the winter months.

This naturally brings wildlife enthusiasts, professional and hobbyist photographers, and curious bystanders with binoculars to the Commonwealth to catch a glimpse of the animal.

These birds are diurnal, which means they hunt during the day in open fields; giving people the opportunity to see this bird in the middle of the day.

The Snowy owl is protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty as well as state regulations. That being said, do not expect to get near the bird or bother it in any way.

Pa. Game Commission encourages people to get outside and explore the natural world, and to do so respectfully especially when you see such a rare treat in the wild.

They say that these winter conditions are very stressful for birds of all sorts, even an artic bird like the snowy owl must continuously balance energy, conservation, the need to hunt, and avoid potential threats.

Approaching the bird too closely can harass it; causing it to fly away and give it even more stress during these cold winter months. 

When observing a snowy owl, Pa. Game Commission wants you to consider the following:

  • Use optics like binoculars or spotting scope- it is very important to stay as far away from the bird
  • Try to be as quiet as possible
  • Use your vehicle as a blind because owls are more alarmed by pedestrians 
  • Avoid sudden movements towards the bird
  • If viewing a bird from a roadside location, be sure to safely pull your vehicle completely off the road and be aware of oncoming traffic 
  • Do not walk on private property without the owner’s consent 

All of these tips are helpful when observing any sort of wildlife in Pennsylvania.