351 views/21 faves/2 February 2012
Captured very early in the morning, near Oak Hammock Marsh, just north of Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Canada….Note: I took this image right from the car, just rolled down the window and snapped…When I attempted to get out he immediately took flight.
Camera Details: Canon XTi, Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 OS AV 6.3 Shutter Speed 1/320 IS0 400 Focal Length 480mm
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Most owls are creatures of the night. But not all. Above the Arctic Circle , where summer sunlight shines around the clock, the snowy owl, like all living things of the far North, adapts to days that are not bracketed by hours of darkness.
To judge by the range of prey taken by North America’s heftist owl, hunting without the concealing cover of darkness is no great handicap. The remains of animals as varied as ptarmigan and Arctic hare have been found around the owl’s tundra nests. The bird’s principal food is lemming, a small rodent. During the years when lemming numbers are at their peak, the snowy owl may hunt nothing else.
In winter, when darkness reigns for nearly 24 hours a day, the snowy owl moves southward from the upper limits of it’s breeding range. The prairie provinces of Canada are a traditional winter stronghold, and there the bird is a common fixture on fence posts and rooftops. During the years when prey within the normal winter range is in short supply, however, the great white owl of the Arctic occasionally wanders as far south as Alabama—-a surprising sight to behold in such balmy climes
Habitant: Open areas, dunes, and marshes.
Info gleened from the Readers Digest, Book of North American Birds.
Cropped, and tweaked in Adobe Photoshop