NEW YORK - Long Island birdwatchers have been dazzled this season by the appearance of the snowy owl, which is more commonly found further north, but area airports are not so taken with the large arctic birds.

A snowy owl that was nesting on an airport runway recently got sucked into an airplane turbine at JFK International Airport. After the bird strike, Port Authority wildlife specialists exterminated three more of the owls on Saturday to prevent further problems, according to the Daily News.

Bird experts say that the creatures are the largest type of owl, standing at 2 feet tall with a 5-foot wingspan, creating the potential for serious problems if they become stuck in jet engines.

However, local bird experts and animal activists are outraged that the birds were apparently exterminated instead of being trapped and relocated. The Audubon Society notes that Boston's Logan Airport uses non-lethal control techniques.

The Port Authority has not commented on the shootings or returned calls by News 12 regarding the snowy owls.