Snowy owl sighting brings enthusiasts to the Jersey Shore

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JERSEY SHORE -

Rare snowy owl sightings at the Jersey Shore have brought out a slew of bird watchers and photography enthusiasts.

Social media posts about the owls have led to a great concentration of people coming to catch a sight of them. Park rangers and naturalists say that this is an issue that has become tougher to manage over the years.

Photos: Snowy Owls spotted at the Jersey Shore

“You’ll have one person standing here and the next thing you know there’s 20. They’re coming out of the bushes,” says Stephanie Smith, of Basking Ridge.

Kelly Scott, with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, says that all the attention can be good for tourism, but she says that the crowds can become a nuisance at times.

“There are good points to it and bad. Social media can be a really good thing and get people here who wouldn’t normally see an amazing species like this,” she says. “The flip side is it does draw a really big crowd. And it’s our job here as state park employees to manage that situation.”

It is not just rare birds that draw crowds at the Jersey Shore. A photograph taken in Long Branch in early November shows a large number of fishing boats after reports that striped bass were caught off the shore.

A number of humpback whales spotted off the Jersey coast also drew a large crowd of wildlife enthusiasts.

News 12 New Jersey was asked to omit the location of where owls were spotted in order to limit the number of crowds.

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