A traffic camera has captured a spectacular image of a snowy owl in full flight.
The picture is one of a series taken by a CCTV camera on Highway 40 in the West Island of Montreal, on 3 January.
The Quebec Transport Minister, Robert Poetin, then shared the photos on Twitter, writing: “Magnificent snowy owl picked up by surveillance cameras of the road network on the A-40 in the West of MTL.”
Barbara Frei, director of the McGill Bird Observatory, told the CBC that the bird was likely looking for somewhere 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 said. “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.”
Although the bird breeds only in the arctic tundra of Quebec, in winter, they tend to migrate further south.
The snowy owl has special significance in Canada, where it has legal protection from hunters and is the official symbol of Quebec.