In general owls continue to dominate the birding scene in eastern Ontario and the Outaouais region. Over this past weekend a total of 8 species were recorded with the Snowy Owl still the top attraction. Most reports came from the regular winter sites including just south of the Ottawa Airport. One interesting fact that I wasn't really aware of is that these typically diurnal owls are hunting at night too. I observed my first Snowy Owl during the daylight hours in the winter of 1969/70.
Over the years, I only experienced this bird feeding during the day and never considered looking for them at night. On February 7 at 7:00pm I counted 3 along Terry Fox Drive and Huntmar Road as they were perched on telephone poles. Again on February 9 at 11:30pm
2 were hunting in the area of the Canadian Tire Centre. This evening Ben and I again observed 3 Snowy Owls hunting near the Canadian Tire Centre at between 9:30-11:30pm.
I must conclude that since these owls inhabit the arctic during their breeding season and some do spend their winters north, it only makes sense that they must hunt 24/7 if need be! One of the most fascinating aspects of birding is that no matter how many years you've studied birds you're always learning something new!
During the 1970's and 1980's I regularly went out owling at night
but never observed a Snowy Owl.
I found a small number of Snowy Owl hunting at night this winter and finally realized this diurnal owl hunts at night like any other nocturnal owl species.