Ice as a Resting Place for Birds
19 December 2013
Winter has come early to Ontario this year; we are still two days away from the solstice when winter will officially begin, but the temperature has remained well below normal for an extended period and there is already a substantial build-up of ice at the shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Ring-billed Gulls Larus delawarensis and Mallards Anas platyrynchos find these conditions ideal as a loafing spot, and if one is really fortunate Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus can be located at such places also.
Prolonged periods of cold temperatures cause the formation of ice floes in the lake and this female Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula was quite content to use one as a floating resting place.