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    Posted November 16, 2012 by
    Surrey, British Columbia

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    The Snowy Owls are back!


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     speedy01 shot these beautiful photos of Snowy Owls at Boundary Bay in Vancouver, BC, on November 16. "My reaction was awe, of course! These birds are so majestic and so beautiful, I am so happy that they are back," he says. "I hope for a good winter so that I can get some more pictures of them, last year I managed 10,000 pictures! But as a photographer, one aims for "the" shot, the elusive prizewinner, so... I keep trying." His second photo was selected as CNN's Travel Photo of the Day for January 3, 2013!
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    The magic is happening again! The first Snowy Owls have started their migration south and are on our shores now.
    Just a handful of them made it, one died of exhaustion and one is in animal Hospital near death. Every year, the juveniles start flying south as their hunting skills are not yet developed enough, and they could not survive the harsh winters in the tundra. After flying thousands of miles they came here tired, exhausted and hungry, few survive this grueling ordeal.
    They are a wonderful and welcomed sight for us Vancouverites that are not used seeing them this close.
    Last year, the word got out and hundreds of people showed up from as far as Europe to see them, unfortunately, it turned into a Zoo and many people did not respect these beautiful birds, getting too close to them and scaring them away. They do not remember that these birds are exhausted and hungry, they try to conserve energy by sitting on logs and resting all day. Flying is a huge demand on the little energy they still have.
    We, as responsible photographers, do not approach them; we stay on the dyke at a reasonable distance and use our powerful lenses to bring them close.
    I have taken a few shots and would like to share them with everyone.
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