We continued down the road in search of the other great grey that was up ahead. Sure enough there it was sitting on a tiny branch beside the road. We started taking pictures right away, it surprisingly didn't fly away, even though we were only some 15 feet away.
|The owl barely fit into the frame it was so close|
|Great Grey Owls sit on branches listening under the snow for voles to catch.|
In the picture below the owls eyes look blue, Christian explained it is because they have a transparent eyelid type of thing called a Nictitating Membrane. It is drawn horizontally across their eyes for protection and moistening while it can still see.
|The stick it's on is so tiny and doesn't seem like it would hold up such a big bird, but these owls have so much fluff and feathers that makes it look a lot bigger than it actually is.|
|You can see the Nictitating Membrane better in this cropped picture|
We waited, and waited... and waited for it to dive into the snow after a vole, which would make amazing action shots.
|In some of the pictures it looks as if the owl is floating. It's feet are tucked into it's feathers to keep it warm.|
|Here you can see it's feet as it launches off the branch.|
|It was too close that the whole wing didn't fit in the frame|
It landed on a nearby branch and we drove slowly up and watched it a few more minutes until we decided it was time to go.
|For my first of Manitoba's Provincial bird it was an excellent view, they are magnificent birds! It was a truly amazing experience.|
We went to the end of the road and turned around and drove back. We saw the owl sitting atop the tiny branch again, we saw the other Great Grey, plus another one as we drove by. So that's three!
Breezy Point, Selkirk
Stay tuned for the last part!