WESTERLY, R.I. (CBS) – New England is seeing more snowy owls this winter thanks to an overabundance of them in Quebec.

The Westerly Sun reports on the phenomenon known as an “irruption,” and it’s the largest seen since 2013-2014.

The birds are flying farther south in search of food.

There are about 18 snowy owls in Rhode Island right now, many seen along Westerly’s shore line.

snowy owl More Snowy Owls Seen In New England This Winter

File photo of a snowy owl. (Photo by Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images)

The numbers took off after a boom in the owl’s food source last year. The snowy owls are expected to head back north in March.

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