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Snowy owls invade 'south'; cold affects waterfowl

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Reports from tens of thousands of bird-counting volunteers show a southern invasion of Arctic-dwelling snowy owls has spread to 25 states, and frigid cold is causing unusual movements of waterfowl.

Results are still coming in from the four-day annual Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. Sponsors say the event, which ended Monday, drew participants from a record 127 countries, surpassing last year's 110.

The information helps track the health of bird populations at a scale otherwise impossible.

Among early findings is that with the Great Lakes almost completely frozen, some species have left the lakes and stopped at inland locations where they're not usually found at this time of year.

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