MONTREAL - A traffic camera has captured remarkable images of a snowy owl taking flight in western Montreal.
The photos of the bird were taken on Jan. 3 along Highway 40. Quebec transport minister Robert Poeti posted the spectacular images on his Twitter page Thursday.
Poeti's tweet reads: "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 may have been looking for a place 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."
Frei says snowy owls breed north of the Arctic Circle, where they hunt in the summer.
"They'll migrate to their 'winter vacation,' which can be all the way down to southern Canada, in the Montreal region or places in Ontario."
The sighting is especially meaningful for Canadians because the snowy owl is the official national symbol of Quebec.