Okay, Junior, get out your science book and turn to our chapter on bird migration. Do you remember what we talked about yesterday? Why do birds fly south in winter? Right! And when they fly farther south than usual, what does that tell us?
Poor snowy owls must be so confused with the papers telling them in one decade that their behavior means one thing, and then a few decades later attributing it to the opposite. How's a bird to know which way is up?
But this simple explanation--snowy owls are following cold weather and snow southward--escapes the Associated Press. To the AP, the owl's behavior is a mystery. Maybe a shortage of lemmings is driving the owls south? But no! The lemming population is thriving. That being the case, it's an insoluble puzzle. The obvious explanation, cold weather, is unmentionable.
What's doubly absurd about this is that when species have moved North, the AP and other news outlets have robotically attributed the migration to global warming. Like moths, opossums, and various flora and fauna.
In 1974, when armadillos were moving southward, Time magazine saw a "telltale sign" of global cooling that threatened the survival of humankind. But that was then, and this is now. The media are trying to sell global warming rather than global cooling these days, so if a cold-loving animal packs up and moves south, it can only be a mystery.
The Name is a Clue