March 18, 2005

Skip & Carol's Owl Trip

Have you looked at the pictures that Skip took of our recent trip? We made daring trek to Toronto just before Valentine's Day to travel with an expert birding guide, Tom Hince, observing a rare (about once every 15-20 years) "invasion" of Great Gray Owls in the Ottawa area of Ontario.

It was cold, but we were properly outfitted with many layers of clothing and did great. Honestly, this was a trip of a lifetime and will not soon be forgotten. We saw 25 different Great Grays, who had moved south from the boreal forest because their only food source, the red-backed vole, had disappeared. In Ontario, they were eating mice, (we actually observed them catching and eating them.) Unbelievable! Thousands of these giants, the largest owls in North America, died of starvation, but others were eking out an existence and would probably be able to return to their northern homes. In addition to the Great Grays, we saw 6 other owl species, Boreal, Snowy, (wow, what a sight!), Long-eared, Short-eared, Northern Hawk Owls, and Barred.

In all, I was able to add 20 new bird species to my life list! (I was hoping to get 5 new birds.) The most spectacular was the Spruce Grouse, nestled in a spruce tree (what else?), eating the needles. What a sight!

It will be difficult to top this in birding trips, but, of course, we will try. It is wonderful to feel so close to nature and to appreciate all the more, the wondrous world that God has created.

See you all soon at Michael's.

Enjoy the pictures! Carol

Posted by Skip & Carol at March 18, 2005 10:35 PM to the News category
Post a comment

Remember personal info?