Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 14,2014 Snowy Owls hunting at night in Kanata. Really not a surprise!

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! 

Good birding,

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. 

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