In the winter time when it became very cold on the British Columbia coast we almost always had fly-in visitors from the far north land on Mcinnes Island. These were the large Snowy Owls from the Arctic.
When the cold weather hit with lots of snow then the owls had no food available in the northern parts of Canada and Yukon and they then migrated south for the winter. We did not see them every year, but that could have been because we lived on an island. I know they have been recorded as far south as Vancouver, BC, so it is not an unusual event.
On the island we had the usual collection of Bald Eagles that used to sit in the trees. The eagles did not bother our four Siamese cats at all, but the Snowy Owls were a different thing. Anything that moved and was brown in colour was fair game! We did have mink and otters too, but when a cat is available, why go for something harder.
Luckily the cats learned fast that they were on the supper menu and we never lost one, or had one injured, but the owls put the run on them a few times.
The Snowies were quite a site to see, and we looked forward to them every year. They became our weather forecasters, as cold weather usually followed their arrival.
The photos in the gallery below were taken in BC near Vancouver and arrived in an email. The email stated:
Eric Rossicci’s (all day) photo shoot of Snowy Owls, enjoy! These were taken February 21, 2012, at Boundary Bay, South Delta, BC.