Traffic camera captures glorious image of snowy owl in flight
Is it possible for a traffic camera to win a wildlife photography award? A stunning snowy owl photobomb is caught on CCTV
Seasoned wildlife photographers may have some unlikely competition in the form of a traffic camera when it comes to this year’s awards season.
CCTV captured this stunning image of a curious snowy owl in flight above a motorway in Montreal in the Canadian province of Quebec.
The traffic camera, which belongs to the Transport Quebec, captured several images of the white and black-spotted bird on January 3.
Quebec transport minister Robert Poëti tweeted photos of the owl with the caption [translated]: “Magnificent snowy owl picked up by surveillance cameras of the road network on the A-40 in the West of MTL”.
In a Facebook post he added: “An impressive solo was captured in full flight by the surveillance cameras of the road network on highway 40 ... in the west of the island of Montreal. Here's a couple of shots of this beautiful snowy owl!”
Barbara Frei, director of the McGill Bird Observatory, which monitors the distribution and movements of Canadian wildlife for research, believes the owl was looking for a convenient place to perch.
“I think they are attracted specifically to the highway because it has open, grassy fields nearby which is perfect for hunting their favourite prey, which is small rodents,” she told CBC News.
“They like to get a good lay of the land and the high lamp posts or other posts that they can perch on while hunting just suits them perfectly.
“They’ll migrate to their ‘winter vacation,’ which can be all the way down to southern Canada, in the Montreal region or places in Ontario.”