Snowy Owls, Canada, January 2010

In January 2010 I went to Canada to photograph Snowy Owls together with Rob Reijnen, Han Meeuwsen, Hans Nooitgedacht and Adri de Visser. The Snowy Owl was at the top of my wish list…

In 2009 I had already taken nice pictures of this beautiful species on the island of Ameland (the Netherlands), but I wanted more pictures and I was hoping for a picture in the snow.

Until the last moment it was uncertain whether we would find photographable Snowy Owls. Han and I left two days earlier and had already found three Snowy Owls by the end of our first day. We got some beautiful pictures out of two of them. What great birds! We found a total of five Snowy Owls during the rest of the week,  of which four were photographable.

Most days it was cloudy and the light conditions were nice and soft. We even had snowfall on one day, which gave  us the opportunity for some beautiful pictures, my favourite picture was a flying Snowy Owl against an ominous snowy sky. On the last day the temperature was minus 19 degrees with bright sunlight. Early in the morning of that day it was possible to take pictures but thereafter the light was too harsh.

During weekdays it was only us at the Snowy Owls' location, but in the weekend a lot of Canadian and American photographers joined us; most of whom use huge focus flashes on their cameras.

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Were there only Snowy Owls? No, there weren't. We also shot beautiful birds like a spotted owl and a Red-tailed Hawk. We also watched American Goldfinch, Mealy Redpoll, Bufflehead, Canada Goose (both waterfowls are wild birds!), etc.