Short-eared Owl

A Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) soars across Delta’s Boundary Bay in our Photo of the Week by Joerg Rockenberger in a shot snapped in January with a Canon EOS-1D MarkIV.  The Short-eared Owl is found in open grassland areas and has a wide distribution, including North and South America, Eurasia and many islands of Oceania.

The bird in the photo enjoys wintering in Boundary Bay, located between Delta, B.C. and Point Roberts, Washington, U.S.A., along with many others, as the area is home to Canada’s largest population of wintering raptors. The Bay offers many kinds of habitats including sand dunes, salt marshes, tidal flats and abundant eel grass beds, which all offer rich habitat for invertebrates. These creatures provide excellent high energy food sources for birds, which is particularly important for those that use the Bay as a pit stop along the Pacific Flyway. Birds can be found here all year round, but there is a greater concentration and variety of species during the September/October migration, when up to 10,000 birds may occupy the area.

Boundary Bay is not just for birders, though they certainly enjoy the 16.4 km of trails. Walkers, cyclists, and horse-back riders are also welcome to use the area and enjoy the birds, the wetlands, and the breeze. Thanks to by Joerg Rockenberger for sharing this beautiful picture with us and reminding us of all of the fabulous wildlife to be found right in B.C.’s backyard.

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