Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
As it so often goes, it's when I'm not searching that I uncover something completely unexpected! I was recently in the Maritimes for the very first time, hiking around the Halifax area. My friend and I spotted an owl perched on some rocks by the ocean... a popular spot for gulls, cormorants and ducks, but an unusual spot for an owl! After some internet-help verifying the ID, we confirmed that this is actually a burrowing owl, very far from home! A species-at-risk in most parts of Canada, this little one likely came up on a cruise ship from Florida as they aren't endemic to the maritime region. This was completely a case of "right place, right time" spotting, and I hope that the NS Bird Society will let the people in the area know that there is something very special in their backyward that they should protect!