Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus
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.