A snowy owl perches on the top of a chimney of a home in Cypress, Calif., on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 27, 2022, as bird watchers and photographers gather on the street below to see the very unusual sight. A snowy owl, certainly not native to Southern California, has made an appearance in a residential Cypress neighborhood, drawing avid ornithologists and curious bird gawkers alike. (Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register via AP)

CYPRESS, Calif. (AP) — Snowbirds are a common sight in Southern California in wintertime — except when they’re actually a bird. A snowy owl to be exact.

Crowds of bird-watchers have been showing up regularly in an Orange County neighborhood to gawk at a snowy owl, a species normally found around the Arctic, Canada and several northern U.S. states.

It’s current home is a rooftop perch in the balmy city of Cypress.

“It is absolutely unique as a bird observation,” Vic Leipzig, who teaches birding at Saddleback College, told The Orange County Register this week.

The newspaper reported that local bird experts speculated that the owl could have arrived in Southern California aboard a ship or could be a captive bird that escaped.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see,” Leipzig said. “That there were so many people standing there watching this thing was very thrilling to me.”