Sunday, 29 December 2013

Second Snowy Owl in Four Days

Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus
Boomer Line
Waterloo County, ON
29 December 2013

    At 16:20 this afternoon, Miriam and I spotted a Snowy Owl flying near the intersection of Boomer Line and Moser-Young Road. It perched atop a utility pole, but only briefly and flew off across a field. We followed the bird as best we could and turned the car around to drive in the direction of its flight. 
   We were elated to see the bird perched on another utility pole and we slowed the car to a crawl and moved forward ever so slowly, stopping every three or four metres to take photographs. Fortunately, the bird stayed put and we were able to get some decent pictures. We watched it in total for about twenty minutes, during which time it flew from the pole only to return again in minutes. Perhaps it had captured a microtus vole or other rodent, and returned to its perch having swallowed its meal whole.
   Based on Owls of the World, Klaus König and Friedhelm Weick, we concluded that this individual is a juvenile female; see Plate 28 on Page 118.
   I have to freely confess that no matter how many times I see this truly magnificent creature I am left awestruck. It is an immense privilege to be part of its world, if only for the briefest time.


  1. After reading your email I visited your blog to find these amazing photographs. I could not agree more with your final two sentences-you have said it extremely well. What an amazing privilege to be able to photograph this beautiful creature at such a close range.

  2. Beautiful photos of a beautiful bird - you lucky things!

  3. Incredible captures of this awesome and handsome owl.

  4. Fantastic images David. Those roadside poles are so useful for raptors and owls, not to mention us photographers. I'm not sure I could have got those shots. Being so close to a Snowy my camera would be shaking with nervousness at screwing up the shots

  5. I have been watching birds one way or another since I was eight years old, Phil, but there are few species more spectacular than a Snowy Owl

  6. Wow!!! Fantastic pictures .. I wish you a happy 2014 .. Kisses from Spain

  7. BEAUTIFUl photo's compliments

    it's a lovely bird.

    Greetings, Joop

    wish you a wonderful 2014.

  8. Marvelous photos of this beauty ! Amazing !
    I wish you all the best for 2014. Best regards, Synnöve

  9. Beautiful photos of the wild bird.
    Happy New Year !

  10. Really great David! I love the snowy owl, and I think it's wonderful that you've photographed so. those in the wild Really great!

  11. Great fotos,
    ❊ * 。❊ 。 ❊ _█_ ❊ 。 * ❊
    _Π_____ (•.•) * 5☆★☆★☆
    ❊ /______/~\ ( ♥ ) ❊ 2014 Happy Day ❊
    |田 田 |門| ( ♥ ) Happy New Year❊

  12. Thank you for your comment on my blog, David. I am happy with "my" Tundra Swans, but I LOVE your Snowy Owl!!!

  13. Hi David, thanks for dropping by my blog :) your captures are stunning! Hope you get to visit Singapore again! Happy new year to you and your wife :)

  14. Oh dear!
    That is fantastic to see them in nature!
    Great pics!
    Obviously from what I have seen these last weeks on different blogs, there was a major influx of these birds in North America.
    It is interesting to to see how it goes from one year to the next!
    Keep well!

  15. Oh, wow, what a fantastic pictures, David. The owl is gorgeous. I have never seen this bird. It is unbelievable that this species flies around in the wild. I also want to wish you a very healthy and photogenic New Year! Greetings from the Netherlands, Joke

  16. Hi Nouska: We can generally find a Snowy Owl in the winter, but it's true the incursion this year has been exceptional.


  17. Congratulations on a great observation :) Very good pictures :)

    I would like to wish you a Happy New Year 2013

    Greets from Poland, Damian :)

  18. You too Damian. I wish you all the very best and many wonderful birds.

  19. What a magnificent bird! Terrific captures David. I am going on a Snowy Owl hunt with my birding group next week. There have been two spotted in the area!

    I am afraid the little Carolina Wren that I have been so desperately trying to keep alive may have succumbed to our minus 29 (with wind chill) weather. He was not at the feeders today for the first time in 3 months.

  20. Beautiful photos of the snowy owl, David.
    A happy and healthy New Year.
    Greetings Irma

  21. This amazing bird has got me drooling David. As you well know, Snowy Owl is right at the top of my wish list. This juvenile female is delightful, and you've captured it beautifully in your lens

    Wishing you all the best for 2014, and I hope you enjoy the warm dry weather of Ethiopia in January!

  22. Wow, Beautiful! Hope you will get a lot of opportunities to see more owls 2014. I Think they are so exciting!
    All the best for 2014.

  23. Wow, what a beautiful snowy owl. This really was a great happiness to see such a beautiful bird. Very impressive. I would be the breath remained at the sight. I've never seen one in the flesh. Thank you for these wonderful pictures. Surely this is a sign. They will bring you luck in the new year, David.


  24. Thanks so much. I already have good luck by getting to know all the wonderful people who blog about nature.

  25. Thanks for your input on 'my' buzzards, David!
    I felt it was interesting to underline that the local Buteo buteo in the South of France are usually quite darkly - although variably - plumaged while those coming from Scandinavian countries to winter down here show much lighter coloring.
    Happy New Year again!

  26. Piękna jest:) Zapraszam do mnie:)