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My First Great Grey

Saw this magnificent fellow in a field along Rockliffe Parkway--a new bird for me.

Great Grey Owls are the tallest owls in North America, and arguably the world. (Some give that title to Eurasian Eagle-Owls instead.) But despite their imposing presence, they're really just big fluffballs. Much of their size comes from the dense plumage that insulates them in the northern climes where they live. And though you'd think that birds that grow up to nearly three feet tall would hunt large prey, their favorite food is tiny voles.

Sightings of this species are normally very rare in Ottawa. But about once every 4-5 years, when the rodent population in the boreal forest crashes, numbers of Great Grey Owls move south in winter in search of food. This is one of those years!

Don't Mind If I DoLife bird #322


January 22nd, 2013 at 8:03 am

January 22nd, 2013 at 9:40 am
Yay at last! Good pix, too!

Mustang Sallie
January 22nd, 2013 at 2:37 pm
Magnificent indeed!!!

January 22nd, 2013 at 7:02 pm
Congrats! And your first picture is much better than the one Wilson had published.

January 24th, 2013 at 2:40 am
You flatter me--Wilson's photographs are really good! But thank you.