It glided toward me in perfect silence, ghostly and powerful, back-lit by the sun and almost invisible against the backdrop of the winter-white field near that lonely train station. Its eyes bright and yellow – the hunter was scanning the stubble in the field for unwary mice or squirrels. This blog was written by guest blogger Valerie Assinewe. Anyone who has seen a Snowy Owl will always remember the sight. The owl’s bright, piercing yellow eyes and snow-white feathers make for a striking impression, and due to elusive nature, catching a glimpse of a Snowy Owl is a truly unique experience. Despite being so easily recognizable, there are many of us that aren’t as familiar with the Snowy Owl as… read more →
This blog was written by guest blogger Aniko Pollak. Nature Canada’s February Calendar Month is the Snowy Owl and what a perfect month to choose the species! We are in the midst of winter and there have been many reports of Snowy Owls in southern cities and towns across Canada. This is the time to get all your winter gear on and go looking for them. Snowy Owls have so many interesting features: They are largest owl by weight in North America. Males are almost entirely white, with some brown spotting – while juveniles and females sport a much higher density of brown spots. Their feathers are thick and insulated keeping them warm in the cold arctic winter. They even… read more →
Last night at the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, in partnership with Bird Studies Canada, staged a debate for The National Bird Project. There are currently 5 finalists: the Common Loon, Snowy Owl, Black-capped Chickadee, Gray Jay and Canada Goose. The debate featured 5 panelists, each making points as to why their bird should be named Canada’s national bird. Our very own Senior Conservation Manager, Alex MacDonald, was one of the panelists and he made the argument that the Snowy Owl should be the winner. Snowy Owl, Harfang des neiges, Bubo scandiacus, Hedwig; these are the names of Canada’s quintessential national bird. The Snowy Owl is, like Tilley Hats and the Robertson screwdriver, a symbol synonymous with Canada… read more →
This blog was written by guest blogger Leslie Abram who is a frequent visitor to Presqu’ile Park in all seasons. Come take a walk- you never know what you might find! Who’s Hiding? Winter is a spectacular time to visit Presqu’ile Park, near Brighton, Ontario. Winter is when Presqu’ile reveals its secrets. Go for a walk and you may have the park all to yourself, except for the birds and animals that call it home. Look closely, you may see a Red Fox, a Barred Owl (pictured above), or even a Snowy Owl on a spectacular ice formation out on the lake. Ice Art Have you ever heard of an ice volcano, or an ice dragon? Well, Presqu’ile’s got them! The action of the wind and the waves on the north shore of Lake Ontario make… read more →
This blog is written by guest blogger Ellen Jakubowski. Is there an owl in your neighbourhood? Probably. Some can be found almost anywhere with trees, even in the city! Even so, owls are famously mysterious. Many people have never seen one in the wild. Winter is a great time to look because the bare branches help reveal roosts. Some owls such as the Great Horned and Northern Saw-Whet also become more vocal in late winter as breeding season approaches. Guide to common Canadian owls and their sounds Barred Owl Habitat: Mature forests across southern Canada. Most active during: Night. Sounds: Its most famous call sounds like a raspy: “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all?” Great Horned Owl Habitat:… read more →
Known in French as Harfang des neiges, the Snowy Owl is a diurnal species, which means it will hunt at any hour of the day, unlike most owls. This behaviour is necessary because it spends the summer months to the far north in the Arctic Circle, where there is nearly 24-hours of daylight. Each week we introduce a new bird from the Ottawa-Gatineau area through our segment on CBC Radio’s In Town and Out. Alex MacDonald, Nature Canada’s Manager of Protected Areas, shares interesting facts about the birds that live in our communities. Be sure to tune-in to “Bird Tweet of the Week” on CBC Radio One 91.5 FM on Saturday mornings from 6am to 9am and listen to past… read more →
In early to mid May, while some of us were gearing up for the arrival of warblers and flycatchers, southern Saskatchewan was suffering snow storms and wintery weather. Perhaps it was to make the dozen or more Snowy Owls on Reed and Chaplin Lakes Important Bird Areas between Moose Jaw and Swift Current, feel at home! This spring, large numbers of this Arctic owl could be observed on Reed and Chaplin – as many as 25 in a day! Lori Wilson, Caretaker for the Reed Lake IBA, provided the photo, click to enlarge.