Late in 2013, snowy owls started showing up in places no one expected to find them--including Florida. What had caused so many of these majestic birds to leave their Arctic home and fly to southern Canada and the United States? Scientists quickly began working to find out.
Author Sandra Markle brings together firsthand reports from the scientists involved along with stunning photographs of the owls to explain this rare event, known as an irruption. Follow along as scientists figure out why snowy owls took part in this unusual migration and discover what they learned from the unexpected opportunity to study them up close.
Gr 3-6--In 2013, snowy owls made an unusual trip south, but that detour is only part of the story acclaimed science writer Markle shares in her latest book. Markle starts with background information, revealing why so many snowy owls traveled south, and then explains how scientists quickly capitalized on the circumstances to tag the birds and follow their migration routes. The story gains momentum as Markle details the importance of the food chain and provides insight from scientists working with the owls. These interviews and accompanying photographs set the book apart and bring the story to life. The writing is easy to understand and never boring. The main narrative is laid out in full-color spreads, accompanied by photographs (some stock, some provided by the scientists) and maps. Full-page sidebars are differentiated from the main text by changes in backgrounds and typefaces. The distinctions are subtle but make the reading experience flow that much more easily. Similarly, definitions are addressed naturally within the text, providing no interruptions. Markle's author's note ends the tale and is also a good read. She explains how she tracked down sources and why it was important to talk to the scientists. It's a terrific note that encourages both budding naturalists and science writers of all ages. VERDICT An excellent purchase for STEM collections.--Marie Drucker, Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, NYCopyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.