Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snowy Owls in Boundary Bay, British Columbia

I've never seen a snowy owl before so I was itching to get over to Boundary Bay in Delta, B.C. after  hearing that there was a bumper crop of  owls this winter. Snowy owls feed on lemmings on the tundra in the north however some years their food supply is scarce which forces them to fly south to Boundary Bay. They mostly hunt rodents at night however there are exceptions to their diet...for example, a snowy owl was recently spotted on somebody's roof here on the Sunshine Coast eating an American Coot in the daytime.

I finally got a chance to get over to Boundary Bay last week. It meant a ferry ride and about two hours of driving but wow, was it ever worth it! There were about 30 snowy owls sitting around on the beach, mostly perched on pieces of driftwood.

Most of the owls were about 50-60 feet from the gravel walkway along the dyke so they were easily photographed. I was in seventh heaven! They were often in groups of at least two owls.

I found a single owl sitting on a piece of driftwood and he seemed quite unconcerned at my approach, although I kept a respectable distance away from him. He was a real snow white beauty who gazed at me steadily...

I met several photographers that day and all of them had travelled from far and wide to see the owls that they'd heard so much about. 

The owls seemed unconcerned that they were the focus of so much attention, or perhaps they were just tired from their long migration. By the time we were leaving, a large crowd of spectators (mostly photographers) had gathered on the gravel walkway that leads along the dyke in Boundary Bay Provincial Park. The owls just sat there on their pieces of driftwood, their heads occasionally turning this way and that, ignoring the curious crowd of onlookers.

Photographers at Boundary Bay

They're forecasting snow this coming week and I'm hoping to get back over to Boundary Bay to spend more time with the snowy owls. What could be better than pictures of snowy owls in the snow? 

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