Short-eared Owl – #269

A great day of birding yesterday!  Started the morning off in the Little River area of Windsor with the Ojibway Nature Centre birding group. We counted 47 Bald Eagles hanging out on Peche Island and the nearby ice floes – this doesn’t include the ones we couldn’t see on the back side of the island.  A few overwintering birds were spotted on the outlet from the sewage treatment plant, including a couple Wood Ducks, a Great Blue Heron and a Lesser Scaup.  No sign of the Kingfisher or Black-crowned Night Heron that had been seen lately.

Eagles on the ice – Windsor, On
A chilly Mute Swan

After lunch, I headed back down river in hopes of spotting the Ambassador Bridge Peregrines or maybe even some gulls on the river – but no luck.  The gulls have been lacking down here this winter.  Too much ice!  I made my way out to the county to look for more birds.  In a very flat and barren field off of French Line Rd, I spotted a very white Snowy Owl – my first of the year.

After a bit of looking around, I headed home to pick up Sarah and Emily.  We had planned a family outing to go look for the Short-eared Owl that had been seen recently in the Onion Fields just outside of Point Pelee.  After a bit of cruising around, Sarah shouted “Look – What’s that?!”  She didn’t have a great look at first as it dove down, but we both quickly got back on it.  The target bird – Short-eared Owl.  It was actively hunting so I slowly drove up and found a safe place to get off the road where we could watch but not disturb it.  It was amazing to watch.  It was dive-bombing the field constantly.  It disappeared for a bit, so I assume it was successful at least once – What a cool experience.  We’ve seen them before hunting off of Arner Townline area, but this one had a little different feel to it.  Hard to explain but nonetheless it was Pelee bird number #269 – and a new life bird for Emily.

The lighting was not great, but I managed to get some “record” shots of the hunt anyway.

2 thoughts on “Short-eared Owl – #269

  1. Those owls are always cool to watch!
    Bald Eagles are certainly increasing in numbers. I had 14 on the St. Clair River this morning….a river record by a longshot!
    27 around Lighthouse Cove over a year ago was interesting as well.

  2. I agree w/ the BAEA increase. I can’t seem to go for a drive w/o seeing an eagle flying!

    Great post, Kory. I felt that same excitement you’re describing. Was an amazing bird to watch hunt.

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