Great Grey Owl spotted in Bridgeland, Calgary. Copyright DigiDragon, from FlickrI’ve only seen an owl in the wild a few times in my life. Once, in Edworthy Park I saw an owl up in a tree and was mesmerized by its large sharp eyes and beautiful feathers. If you’re observant, and you go out ‘owling’ at the right times, you can get lucky and spot an owl in the city.
What got me thinking about birds, and owls in particular, was this fantastic video I came across the other day of an Eagle Owl (native to parts of Europe and Asia) swooping in for some prey. The video is slowed down so you can see every moment of its flight. Every time I’ve watched it my eyes nearly bug out of my head. It’s like watching a beautiful flower unfurl -- nature in all its glory.
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary offers the occasional program on owls, and the Calgary Field Naturalists have regular birding field trips. If you’re up for a road trip next spring why not check out the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation’s visitor centre in Coaldale (15 minutes east of Lethbridge). They rehabilitate and release injured birds and offer public education programs.
In Canada the Burrowing Owl, Spotted Owl, Barn Owl and Screech Owl are listed as endangered by COSEWIC. Who says one person or ... bird can't make a difference? That eagle owl has inspired me to get out to the annual Christmas bird count with the Calgary Field Naturalists and to make a donation to bird conservation efforts this year. Go owls!!!