Rare snowy owl spotted at Smithville Lake

Species not in Missouri often
Posted at 1:00 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 20:20:19-05

SMITHVILLE, Mo. – A snowy owl was spotted Tuesday near a campground at Smithville Lake.  

"It’s really kind of rare to see them down here," said Ed Lambright, a photographer who spotted the owl. "This is really awesome. This is my first one that I have ever seen. They have been down here before, but this is the first time I have seen one."  

The large owl sat on branch well hidden from view. So hidden, Lambright said finding the bird was no easy task.  

“[Monday] there was a sighting here at Smithville, so I decided to drive down and take a look at it. You know there is so much space, it’s like hitting a needle in a haystack,” Lambright said. “I just happened to be driving down the road and saw this funny white spot over there in the woods, and I stopped and backed up, and sure enough it was the owl."  

The Missouri Department of Conservation says snowy owls are rare for the area, since the species normally lives in the high arctic region of North America. Once every four years or so, experts say snowy owls will sometimes spend their winter in Northern Missouri.