- When it comes to animals in Montreal, we get the chance of spotting all different kinds throughout the city.
- But in the past few weeks, one special type of bird, which happens to be our province's national bird, was seen hanging out on top of a snow pile.
- Find out more about this snowy owl making its way through our city below!
A special type of animal has made its way to Montreal: an owl! It seems that it made its home on an ugly Montreal snow pile and we hope it doesn't give him a bad impression of the city. With the state of rental housing in Montreal, this feathery Arctic bird of prey was lucky to find a place. Unfortunately, he's not in the best neighbourhood, but an owl could do much worse — if we're being honest.
The owl was first spotted a few weeks ago by Benjamin Andrew, a snowplow driver hailing from Australia. According to him, the owl has made permanent residence at a noisy parking lot in Dorval, taking advantage of his high perch, likely to feast on unsuspecting field mice.
"While plowing snow it swooped pass my machine. I instantly recognized it as an owl," Andrew wrote to MTL Blog. "You know, I’m from Australia so I’m rather terrified by birds in general. This was a first for me!"
A video posted to YouTube by Andrew shows the owl just kind of chilling on high on perhaps the dirtiest snow pile I've ever seen.
Local ornithologist David Bird confirmed to us that the bird is indeed a snowy owl.
"In most winters, these owls migrate to down to Southern climes to escape the harsh winters in the tundra of Ungava Bay and further north," says Bird.
The snowy owl of Harry Potter fame is native to the Arctic regions of Canada and Europe. Easily recognizable, the snowy owl is known for its distinct plumage and silly face.
If you're wondering why there's a snowy owl in Montreal, Professor Bird tells us that its common for young owls to come down south during wintertime.
Bird mentioned that, "airports and wide-open farm fields between Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto with lots of mice and voles simulate the flat habitat they have up north."
"It's not surprising to see this owl on top of the snow pile. They like elevation and even nest on mounds like this up north."
It's not clear if the owl has made a nest up in that dirty snow pile, but one thing is clear — this brings a whole new meaning to affordable housing.
If only we were all snowy owls who can live on top of snow piles!
The snowy owl is one of the largest species of owl, with a maximum wingspan of roughly 59 inches.
Snowies love to feast on small rodents like mice and vole and have been known to hunt other birds like geese and pheasants.
Arguably one of nature's perfect predators, the snowy owl silently swoops down and snatches its prey in its large talons. An adult snowy owl can eat 12 mice per day!
If you needed more reason to love them, snowy owls are Quebec's national bird, adopted in 1987.
Next time you find yourself near the airport in Dorval, look up and you may just spot Montreal's newest and featheriest resident!