Feb 8 2023
Kingston - Wolfe Island - I had 7 owls of a probable 8-10 birds there this winter. Most did not present very well and adult males are notoriously skittish making shots like this a challenge. Their caution is for good reason because females always chase them away and wouldn't hesitate to have one for dinner. This is a very poor year for Snowy Owls, with most remaining in the Arctic. The area had the North American high for Christmas bird counts this year (8 birds). To show the potential, I think the all-time record was 80+ birds some years ago. I had 53 in 2014. When there is a bumper crop of voles in the area coinciding with plenty of owls heading south we can get results like that. This is the third consecutive year with low numbers in all of Southern Canada.
Chris: Terrific to see and hear the background. Looks like an old male 😊
BrianMorin: Old indeed. Surprisingly there were three withing a few kilometres. That's a high percentage of birds in the area compared with the ratio I usually see in Eastern Ontario when males represent one in 10 females at best and sometime one in 20.