OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (WITI) -- It's a scene that could be right out of the Arctic -- or Harry Potter! Snowy owls are spending winter days near Freedom in Outagamie County, and naturalists say that area is in the midst of an owl invasion.
With piercing eyes, and long white feathers, snowy owls have been spotted near Freedom.
"It seems like just about everyday we see him sitting up on that silo," Curt Killsdonk of Freedom said.
Killsdonk says he's seen more owls this year, and people too.
"We got plenty of visitors that drive by on the roads and just stop. They even set out their tripod, they got their camera," Killsdonk said.
Scott Denny, a wildlife photographer has been capturing images of snowy owls for years.
"Part of the fun for me is not just seeing the bird and photographing it -- but also trying to get that 'keeper shot.' That is the one that really means a lot to you," Denny said.
Mike Reed is the Director at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. He says many of the snowy owls in the area are juveniles, heading south, looking for food and territory.
"This is a really big invasion year, all over the eastern U.S., of snowy owls. They're showing up two to three times the number that we usually see them. The latest estimate is that there's about 271 snowy owls now in Wisconsin," Reed said.
If you want to see these big birds, experts say you need to know where to look. Snowy owls like open spaces, the tops of barns, silos, and even power poles.
"They're really easy to miss, and toward evening they start moving in toward the farms, really to feed on the mice and rats that gather around the farms," Reed said.
"Cherish the fact that they're here. Go to these places where they're located, take a look-see, take a shot with your camera," Denny said.
Naturalists say the owls should be returning to nesting grounds in the Arctic Circle in a few weeks.