BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Two snowy owls were captured Thursday night and Friday morning at Martin State Airport in eastern Baltimore County.
Authorities said a female snowy owl was captured Thursday night shortly after sunset, and a male snowy owl was captured Friday morning. The owls were caught with traps that were placed on a grassy area on the north side of Martin State Airport near Taxiway A.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services work closely with the Maryland Aviation Administration at both Martin State and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to help minimize conflict between birds and aircraft.
Authorities said four USDA Wildlife Services employees work at Martin State and BWI Marshall to help with incidents like this.
The two owls were examined by the USDA Wildlife Services and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) personnel.
The owls were banded and taken away from the area. A transmitter will be placed on the female owl before she is set free in order to track her movements, authorities said.
This is part of the Project SNOWstorm, which is a nationwide research effort led, in part by a DNR wildlife biologist. The project is gathering data on the largest irruption of snowy owls in decades, authorities said.
More snow owls than usual have been seen in Maryland and throughout the eastern United States this past winter, according to statistics.