Stu Mills, an announcer on CBC radio, put the news out this morning that again there were snowy owls out at the Experimental Farm, a rural oasis n the middle of downtown Ottawa. I headed out at sunrise to catch a glimpse, along with hordes of birders, photographers, gawkers, and just plain folk who wanted to get a look at these rare (for here) and wonderful birds.
Snowy owls depend on lemmings and other small rodents for food and when the supply is short in their traditional habitats further north, they venture south, sometimes as far down as the southern United States.
This is one of those years, and there have been many sightings in the Ottawa-Gatineau area in recent weeks. According to those who know, they’ll hang around for another week or so, then head north again to breed.
When I arrived, there were two owls, although people report that on some days, the count has been as high as six. One was perched on a crib, the second was on the ground by a fence. Neither moved from their spots the whole time I was there, save to periodically swivel their heads.
After satisfying my owl spotting addiction, I ventured over to Fletcher’s Wildlife Garden, about a kilometer to the West of the farm, and spotted a Red Tailed Hawk, high in a conifer. A juvenile, I would judge, based on the fluff still around the head.
Thanks so much JD! Loved seeing those photos.
I feel as if I’m coming out of hybernation!
Thanks John . Specially like the hawk shots
Thanks, Mike. I should admit that someone else actually spotted the bird. I probably would have walked right by without seeing it otherwise.
You just made my day. Love the owls and hawks. So much character. Nicole
That has got to be a pre-teen…. never saw a real hawk with a duh! expression like that one, John!
Still peach fuzz around the ears!
I happened to hear the CBC report although I am not usually listening to the radio that early, and almost called you, as i knew you would be interested. glad you found the owls. I too am anxious to see them before they leave town. L.
Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing! We often see barn owls swoosh by as we drive home at night, but we’re not in a position to take photos. 🙂
John, didn’t realize you were such a fabulous photographer! Unbelievable pictures! Hopefully we will meet sometime soon. Dave had sent these on to me.
Barbara! Long time no hear. Glad you enjoyed these.
Great pictures. The owls are amazing. We have a falcon who shows up occasionally in our backyard on bird-feeder patrol.
It always makes my heart sing to know we share our home with such amazing wild life. You share your experiences with sucj skill. Thank you.
Great pics jd as always – totally refreshing after only the small species all winter.
It’s been way too long! Dave sent us your photos….Bonnie is an avid Bird photographer down in Florida so we really enjoyed these. Our son, Blair lives in Russell so send us your phone number and address and we will try and make contact.
That’s worth getting up early for John ,would loved to have shared the morning with you ! G.