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Snowy owls catch Field Museum’s attention

A light covering snow hit Chicogolarea.  A young Snowy Owl flies near lakefront Wilslake Chicago.   | Al

A light covering of snow hit the Chicogoland area. A young Snowy Owl flies near the lakefront at Wilson and the lake in Chicago. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: January 26, 2014 6:36AM

The latest irruption of snowy owls trends toward historic. Multiple ones were reported at 31st Street Harbor last weekend, and reports pop up almost daily at inland sites.

By historic, I mean museum-quality. The Field Museum’s Josh Engel posted a request for owl pellets on IBET, the birder’s network.

‘‘With so many snowy owls around this winter, I’m hoping to get my hands on some pellets to see what they are eating,’’ he posted. ‘‘If you find any pellets or see an owl cough one up, please let me know.

“If you do find one, put it in a plastic bag with a label that includes the date and location that you found it and your name. I’ll examine the contents to identify the bones, which will end up in the permanent collection at the Field Museum.’’

He also wants photos showing what the owls are eating.

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