January 3, 2016 started out just like any other wintry day for a traffic camera mounted above Sources Boulevard and Highway 40 in western Montreal, Canada — that is, until is accidentally filmed something amazing. Watch:
The video went viral after Quebec’s transport minister, Robert Poëti, tweeted about it, including screenshots of the majestic bird.
Magnifique harfang des neiges capté par les caméras de surveillance du réseau routier sur l'A-40 dans l'ouest de MTL pic.twitter.com/ivaKZDel9r
— Robert Poëti (@robertpoeti) January 7, 2016
The owl in question is a Snowy Owl, a species native to the arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. According to Barbara Frei, Director of McGill Bird Observatory in Quebec, rodents and rabbits make up a large part of snowy owls’ diets, so like hawks, they often perch atop roadway lampposts and billboard signs to hunt for prey.
“I think they are attracted specifically to the highway because it has open, grassy fields nearby, which is perfect for hunting their favorite prey, which is small rodents,” Frei 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.”
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