Cruising Around Ontario, Canada Looking for Snowy Owls

snowy-owl-on

I took a three-day weekend and headed to Canada with a friend.

I know that sounds kinda mundane since I can walk to Canada, but we drove west and north looking for Snowy Owls. Anything but mundane in Ontario. And we found quite a few owls thanks to some very experienced Canadian birders. One even drew us a map to find three of them. And we found four in that area instead!

snowy-owl

I cannot get over how helpful, warm and nice we found these people. Birders in Canada do not keep the owl locations tight to the vest. Instead, they go out of their way to guide us so as to make the most of our limited time in their country.

pole-snowy

Then we continued the trip off eBird location maps for more owls as we went north onto Algonquin. The Snowy Owl doesn’t give a hoot that we’ve driven halfway across winter frozen Ontario to see a bird on a power pole or high in a tree. The snowy owl doesn’t even know we exist for the most part, except to occasionally open its eyes and twist its head. Its eyes when open, are bright yellow laser beams in a fluffy white, feathery package. They have a hypnotic appeal and photographers just love them.

snowy-in-field

Many of these owls gravitate to shorelines along the frozen lakes or look for snow-covered fields. So these places are where you just might see one. Or just look up and you might see them atop power poles or utility towers.

Snowy owls like meals of small rodents, which they hear beneath the snowpack or sight with those laser beam eyes. Then they grab the prey with piercing talons and swallow the mouse or vole headfirst. The owls are opportunists and will eat what’s locally abundant wherever they might be. Maps of snowy owl locations, have afforded birders and photographers with a these mesmerizing seasonal encounters.

pole-sitting-snowy

In our area, owls have been few this year, not like in other previous irruption years. We traveled to Ontario for those shown here. The days were sunny, warm and calm. The owls seemed to enjoy the sun, basking on the top of trees and poles. We did see owls on the snowy Canadian fields, but at a great distance. That is important too to keep distance from them. While owls consume prey in harmony with the environment, we need to be considerate of their space.

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27 Responses to Cruising Around Ontario, Canada Looking for Snowy Owls

  1. Awesome photos, Donna! Lucky you to have these marvelous owls not far from your area. Funny, I was just chatting with some friends today about how nice it is when other birders share the info about where to locate special sightings. ;-D

    • donna213 says:

      It is nice when birders share. In our area, there has been a problem brewing with sharing locations, especially the owls. They claim the photographers are stressing the owls. I have a long lens, so I really don’t need to be that close. Problem is these poles are right along the road. In Canada, you don’t have a hundred photographers photographing these Snowy owls. Thank you.

  2. Brian Comeau says:

    I’m so jealous!!!! Beautiful pictures of beautiful birds.

  3. Oh those are such lovely images… heartwarming too.

    Yesterday two burrowing owls dropped in to say hi… they were precious!

  4. Sue says:

    What gorgeous photos of those beautiful owls. Yet another reason to visit Canada! 🙂

  5. neihtn2012 says:

    This is amazing! I’ve been looking for them around here, but no luck.

  6. What beautiful shots! I hope you stayed warm.

  7. alesiablogs says:

    They are so majestic looking. The white is amazing and so pure looking. Glad you guys had a great adventure. Call sometime when you aren’t traveling!!

  8. aussiebirder says:

    Wow, Donna! what a beautiful bird to capture and what beautiful captures of a beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing. I find tip offs from other birders and blog followers great ways to find the unusual and rare birds, even in places we would never expect to find them. This happened to me just last weekend.

  9. Such a beautiful being. Repeating myself but, wow Donna, your are an true artist! 🙂

  10. The owls are so beautiful, awe inspiring and your photography of them is exceptional

  11. Tiny says:

    These owls are so beautiful! Great captures, Donna.

  12. Kamila Pala says:

    Amazing virtual tour! Wonderful pics 🙂 Bye. K

  13. Nitin Khanna says:

    Beautiful Pictures. I have never thought of Picturing an owl ever. But now for sure i will. Anyways i really appreciate your work and efforts.

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