Traffic cams don't typically capture the beauty of the natural world. Their purview is more often highway bottlenecks, angry motorists, and the occasional ticket-worthy blow through a red light. Until now. On Thursday, Québec transport minister Robert Poeti tweeted amazing photos of a snowy owl — that were taken by a highway traffic camera. And, honestly, the photos are better than many snapshots taken by human photographers.
The owl was flying along Montreal's Highway 40, when the camera took the photo on January 3. Barbara Frei, director of the McGill Bird Observatory, told Canada's CBC News that snowy owls "are attracted specifically to the highway, because it has open, grassy fields nearby, which is perfect for hunting their favorite prey, which is small rodents." "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," Frei told CBC News. She believes the owl in the photos is a young female. Frei also told CBC News that while snowy owls breed north of the Arctic Circle, they often travel south for a "winter vacation," which could explain what the owl was doing in Montreal.
OPENER IMAGE: Photo: Getty Images.