Traffic Camera Accidentally Snaps Beautiful Photo of a Snowy Owl

Rebecca OConnell
Transport Quebec
Transport Quebec / Transport Quebec

Traffic cameras don't generally take interesting photographs, but sometimes they get lucky. Such was the case on January 3, 2016, when Transport Quebec's traffic camera snapped several pictures of an owl mid-flight. The photos of the majestic animal's flyby were taken right by highway 40 in Montreal. 

Quebec transport minister Robert Poëti tweeted the pictures earlier today:

The caption in English, courtesy of Google Translate: "Beautiful snowy owl taken up by the road network surveillance cameras on the A-40 in western MTL."

Barbara Frei, director of the McGill Bird Observatory, spoke with the CBC about what she suspected was a young female snowy owl. "I think they 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," 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."