Snowy owls being shot at JFK

snowy-owl-mark-brownThis winter, Connecticut birders have a great chance to see a snowy owl. These big white birds are coming down to the Northeast  from the Arctic tundra in significant numbers – probably because of a disruption in the wood supply up north.

However, the owls seek open spaces like the tundra. That’s led to trouble at JFK International Airport. One owl flew into a jet engine while a plane was on the airport’s tarmac. The Port Authority now has issued a shoot-to-kill order for any more owls seen at the airport.

That’s led Audubon New York to issue a statement condemning these actions.

“Audubon New York is extremely discouraged and deeply concerned with the reports that officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey authorized the shooting of Snowy Owls at the John F. Kennedy International Airport,” said Erin Crotty, Executive Director of Audubon New York.  “We understand the need to protect airline and passenger safety, but there is no need for the airport to be using lethal controls when there are non-lethal control strategies that are equally effective, including trapping and releasing, and have been used successfully at other airports.”