Prairie Wildlife: Snowy Owls
After photographing sunrise on Namaka Lake in the Siksika Reserve east of Calgary, I toured the nearby back roads for wildlife. I found a few mule deer standing in tall grass and a couple of charismatic old barns but my subject of desire was the snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus). There is a healthy population of these owls between Calgary and Brooks. Photographing these wonderful raptors has been on my list for a couple of winters now but yesterday was the first trip into the prairie east of Calgary dedicated to the purpose. The first owl I found was a telephone pole hopper so we traveled together from pole to pole for half an hour before it flew up into a stand of trees (as above) and then on to the open fields.
I saw two more snowy owls while working my way back home on Highway 22X. The first was flighty and I only photographed it flying away from me over the fields.
The last owl of the day I saw just before 11 am. It stared me down from its perch on a fence post and then took off, flying low along the ditch before disappearing behind a small hill. I will be back in the next couple of weeks and try to get one of these beautiful birds to fly towards me.
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January 28, 2012 at 8:36 am
January 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm
January 17, 2012 at 1:47 am
hoping to see my own snowy. Apparently they are everywhere this year. Enjoyed the shots!
January 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm
Good luck Jane – when you find some, send me a link – I’d love to see the results.
January 22, 2012 at 1:46 am
Incredible photos, Chris! They are beautiful!
January 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm
Thanks Karen – I am awed by all owls and to see these snowys on the prairie was great. Tricky to photograph but so beautiful it was almost as much fun just to watch.
January 22, 2012 at 1:50 am
Great Capture – I’ve only seen owls in the zoo (not in the wild).
January 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Great shots. I haven’t seen an owl in years…
January 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm