Real snowbirds stick around for Canadian winter

A female snowy owl perched on a wire near Sombra on Jan. 25. Snowy owls typically eat rodents, rabbits and birds. One hunting near the Sarnia Yacht Club this winter has consumed large numbers of seagulls. Ronny D’Haene Photo

Journal Staff

Though many of Sarnia-Lambton’s birds fly south in winter, some of our feathered friends do stay through even the coldest months.

The photos here were submitted recently by Journal readers of birds that are capable of finding sufficient food to stay warm all winter long.

Some birds are readily adapted to the cold (cardinals, chickadees), but scientists believe others that normally fly south will delay departure and even become year-round residents so long as food remains available (take a bow, Canada geese).

 

Canada geese normally mate for life and can live up to 24 year in wild. This one taxis in for a landing on the river on Feb. 1.
Ronny D’Haene Photo

 

This photo was taken Jan. 20 of a juvenile bald eagle as it swooped over the St. Clair River, near the entrance to the Shell Canada refinery. Eagles are partially migratory but will overwinter if their territory has access to open water and fish.
Jeff Hunking Photo

 

Common goldeneye, like this one seen on the St. Clair River on Jan. 27, dive for their food, eating mostly fish and aquatic invertebrates.
Ronny D’Haene Photo

 

A pair of mute swan stand on an ice floe in the St. Clair on Jan. 20. Introduced from Europe, mute swan numbers have increase rapidly in the lower Great Lakes and are now classified by U.S. officials as an invasive species.
Ronny D’Haene Photo