Downsview park is the perfect winter habitat for Long and Short-eared Owls. These unusual birds prefer expansive open fields, grasslands or marshes. The Long-ears are mostly nocturnal while the Short-ears are often seen in daylight.
Both focus their diet almost entirely on small rodents, especially voles, which often compose most of their diet. They also hunt various small mammals, small birds, small snakes, lizards, and insects.
We were thrilled to see three Long-eared Owls and one Short-eared this morning.
This morning’s group in -14 degree weather:
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake. – Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94)