I love these birds! They are so incredibly beautiful and I really get excited every time I find one. I’ve been lucky enough to find two this year, and also lucky enough that they both allowed me to make a few portraits!
Snowy Owl’s are considered to be very common on the Prairies east of Calgary, and there are reports of them almost daily during the winter months. But that certainly doesn’t mean that they are easy to find. I’ve actually seen very few in the wild yet I look for them every time I’m out and about on the country roads.
I’ve seen Northern Flicker’s on the ground before, but they usually don’t allow people to get very close. I would never describe these woodpeckers as shy, as they do tend to allow a close approach when they are perched in a tree, but if you walk towards them while they are on the ground they tend to take off pretty quickly. So I was very pleasantly surprised when this one allowed me to walk up to within about 15 feet of it while it continued to hunt for bugs in the ground. You can see the dirt all over its beak from where it was stabbing it into the ground in search of food.
Most people consider Starlings to be pests, largely because they are loud and annoying. They travel in very large flocks and leave messes everywhere they go. But they also happen to be very beautiful if you catch them in just the right light!