Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Finally, a snowy owl

This winter snowy owls migrated south in large numbers. I saw a map that showed them all down the east coast of the United States, as far south as the Carolinas. Every 8-10 years they migrate south in search of food, they call it an irruption. It's rare to see snowy owls here so I really wanted to get some good photos. They're on my birding bucket list. While driving home one day, I saw one on a electrical wire. Of course, all I had with me was my cell phone camera which showed a white speck.

Twice I drove around on the weekend with my camera looking for them so I could take pictures. I drove for two hours, and never saw them. Of course I saw one at the 416 and 417 intersection one night driving home from visiting my parents. I just wasn't having good luck.

Then last week I heard on the radio that snowy owls were spotted at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. I couldn't believe it. I looked online and saw a news video showing several snowy owls hanging out on the farm equipment. I went on Thursday and Friday to get pictures. I took over 300 photos, here are my best ones.

The friends I made while waiting 2.5 hours for the owls to move.
This owl was sheltered from the wind in the upside down sled.

He was there all three times I was there.

Finally, at sunset the owl moves.
Flying away to hunt for food.

Flying past the trees.
There were 3 owls, this one was on this roof before flying away.

The wings as it landed. You can see it is a juvenile with all the spotting.
Two of the owls sat on the ground in between the fence line for several hours.

Another shot of the owls in between the fence line.
Getting more active as the sun sets.

Getting ready to fly away.

My best shot showing the eyes. This is the picture I've always wanted.
Just before flying away.
My best wing shot.