Sunday, 15 December 2013

Terrible time in Southeastern Ontario for the Snowy owls

It's been a terrible time in southern Ontario for the Snowy owls. They have been sighted in huge 
Great horned owl in fall
numbers. There is much speculation on why, overpopulation, lack of lemmings in their northern habitat, and the like.

Either way, they are hungry, and are being followed by avid photographers, and getting maimed and killed.

Many are being hit by cars, while being attracted to mice going after food garbage at the side of the road. We get a lot of that in our ditches, despite my effort in picking up the trash.

In the last 2 weeks the Owl Foundation has received the 5 injured snowy owls, one has died. The other 4 are being monitored as they recover from their injuries.
It is such a shame. The foundation takes in 100 per year.



Snowy Owls
 move in to Ottawa area
 (Ottawa Citizen article)
Beautiful barred owl, smucked by a car last January
The Snowy Owl irruption arrived in the Ottawa area on Dec. 15, with 25 individuals counted east and west of the city. This is one of our largest southward movements in the past decade.
Food is connected to the movement of these birds. Snowys are irrupting because they had an unusually high amount of breeding success due to food abundance. There aren't enough hunting territories to support the youngsters, who have been pushed south.
Horned owl on nest in April, 2012

9 comments:

Kay said...

They are such beautiful birds. This must help in reducing the rodent population in your area.

Red said...

You never know with species that move unexpectedly as to what makes them move to another area.

Cynthia said...

Sometimes in low food years, the snowys make it all the way down to Minnesota. I love driving around the farm fields watching for them, although it is sad that it is a food scarcity that brings them. I wonder if we will see them this year.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Cynthia said...

Sometimes in low food years, the snowys make it all the way down to Minnesota. I love driving around the farm fields watching for them, although it is sad that it is a food scarcity that brings them. I wonder if we will see them this year.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I learned something new today, including a new word.

Kay L. Davies said...

Certainly there are many changes in their northern habitat, affecting more than just the polar bears. So sad, the owls being hit by cars.
Luv, K

Brian Miller said...

oh so sad on the owls...i did a festival this summer and there was a wildlife foundation there with several owl...probably a different type....but...what majestic creatures...

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

This is just devastating!

Ontario Wanderer said...

I've not been birding enough to see any Snowy Owls for years. Perhaps it would be a good time for me to go out and look again.