Best nature photo of 2016 so far goes to... a traffic camera?!
A Majestic Snowy Owl!We love nature photography, as you can probably tell by our 777-part series of photos of the day (you can submit yours to our photo pool on Flickr). Sometimes you get that one-in-a-million shot by accident, as was the case with the world-famous Monkey Selfie (below, along with the lesser known second full-body selfie -- these caused quite a legal stir when it was unclear who owned the copyright, until the U.S. Copyright Office stated that works created by a non-human are not subject to U.S. copyright).
This also reminds me a little of the squirrel who stole a GoPro camera and filmed himself:
A recent example of great nature photograph comes from Montreal in Canada: A magnificent Snowy Owl, native to the Arctic regions of North-America and Eurasia, was beautifully captured mid-flight not by a professional photographer but by a city traffic camera!
Magnifique harfang des neiges capté par les caméras de surveillance du réseau routier sur l'A-40 dans l'ouest de MTL pic.twitter.com/ivaKZDel9r— Robert Poëti (@robertpoeti) January 7, 2016
You can see the exact moment from the Transport Quebec traffic camera located along Montreal's highway 40 below. This was captured on January 3rd, 2016, and Tweeted by the Quebec transport minister Robert Poëti on Thursday:
It doesn't last long, and it could easily have been missed, but someone with sharp eyes realized this was a moment worth saving.
What was the bird doing there?
According to Barbara Frei, the director of the McGill Bird Observatory, this young female was probably 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."
Here's a beautiful female Snowy Owl: