Matt Medler and I drove up to Montreal on Saturday, Feb 25th to see
a Great Gray Owl that has been seen at Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies for much of February. We saw a very docile individual sitting in a tree, slouched over to stay warm in the bitter wind. A second bird was seen last Thursday as well. For updates, you can check out the Oiseaux Rares du Quebec (Rare Birds of Quebec) website at http://www.oiseauxrares.qc.ca/ and look for Chouette Lapone/Great Gray Owl. The owls are being seen at the Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies in Rivière-des-Prairies, which is located on the northeast end of Ile de Montreal. This was a great follow-up to seeing the Snowy Owl in East Warren on Wed!
Directions: Take the LaFontaine Tunnel (Autoroute 25) into Montreal, and continue on Autoroute 25 to Autoroute 40 eastbound. Get off 40 at Exit 83, and follow the road that parallels 40 for a few miles until reaching the intersection with Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Turn left/north onto Saint-Jean-Baptiste and continue on it until the end. Turn right onto Boulevard Gouin and follow it 2 miles to the park entrance, which is on your right. Parking costs $5 CAN and must be paid at a machine in the parking lot. You can get a map of the trails and directions to the latest location where the owls were spotted at the visitor's center. They also are willing to convert American money for Canadian money at a 1:1 exchange. We saw the Great Gray perched in a small wooded area on the main loop around the marsh (marais), between markers 6 and 8. The trails are maintained for walking, snowshoeing, and x-c skiing if you want to fit some recreation in as well. For more information about the park (in English), visit: http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page_pageid=175,1722228&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
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