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Snowy owls paying visit to Hastings area

This snowy owl was spotted in a field near Hastings. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson

The intersection of Hogan Avenue and 180th Street is typically a pretty quiet spot. It has been anything but quiet lately, though.

As many as 10 snowy owls have been spotted in the area, and one set up on top of an irrigator on Monday afternoon. Local photographers, birdwatchers and curious onlookers all came by to take a look at the bird.

Jen Vieth from the Carpenter Nature Center said that the first snowy owl in the area was spotted right around Christmas. Since then, counts have been conducted and the birds have been identified by their markings. She said up to 10 snowy owls have been in the area.