Snowy owl touches down in Cloverdale

Local bird-watchers were thrilled by the sight of an off-course snowy owl spotted in downtown Cloverdale Tuesday morning.

Crows kept a close watch on a rare visitor to Cloverdale – a snowy owl dubbed ‘Hooter’.

Local bird-watchers were thrilled by the sight of an off-course snowy owl spotted in downtown Cloverdale Tuesday morning.

The arctic visitor – immediately dubbed “Hooter” – spent about an hour perched on a rooftop and various trees in the 17600-block of 57 Avenue in view of residents.

Neighbours Diedre Lamone and Carol Rigey were among the admirers who watched with amazement as Hooter paused on various rooftops along the block, under the opportunistic eyes of a gang of crows following closely behind.

Lamone contacted bird expert Bob Lyons, who advised setting out sardines for the snowy owl, which appeared fatigued an in need of nourishment.

He also warned local bird watchers to keep a respectful distance – getting too close will only distress the owl, causing it to fly and waste precious energy.

This is the second year in a row Snowy owls have flown south to B.C.’s Boundary Bay area in Delta, but Lyons said he’s never heard of anyone seeing a snowy owl in Cloverdale.

[At right, a crow crowds the snowy owl, resting on a Cloverdale rooftop.]

The birds are pure white with some grey markings and have yellow eyes.

If you see one in distress, contact O.W.L., or Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta.

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