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Snowy owls are usually a rare and prized sight for birdwatchers, but this year Jamaica Bay bird lovers are the beneficiary of an unprecedented migration southward.

The knuckleheads over at the Port Authority sparked an uproar recently when they added the beautiful (and increasingly rare, as populations dwindle) snowy owl to their kill list, announcing open season on the Harry Potter-famed fowl for its shotgun wielding wildlife specialists. They shot down three of the birds at JFK Airport in a weekend before the outrage tilted the scales, and they changed policy to capturing and relocating the birds.

That means Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which abuts the airport, is once again a wildlife refuge – so long as you’re not one of the seven other birds on the Port Authority’s kill list.

And that’s good news to Dan Mundy of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers. Mundy was out and about in Jamaica Bay today, and happened upon this snowy owl. Cool, eh?

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