#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Anna Govorova, a resident of the Kayerkan district, noticed an unusual guest on her balcony – an owl. The flying predator with large eyes and sharp claws amazed the girl so much that she was closely watching it for about two hours.
“Here’s a miracle sitting outside my window. A real owl! We were looking at each other for two hours, and then she flew away”, Anna Govorova shared on her Instagram page.
As the head of the scientific department of the Taimyr Reserves directorate, Doctor of Biological Sciences Leonid Kolpashchikov told the This Is Taimyr correspondent, the unexpected guest is a great gray owl, one of the largest owls with a wingspan of 1.5 meters. It can be found both in the Putorana mountains and within the boundaries of the Big Norilsk Lakes – Lama, Sobachye, Keta and Kutaramakan.
“This owl does not build nests, but occupies other birds’ nests; it can settle in the nest of a furry buzzard or goshawk. This bird is unusually secretive and practically does not fly out of its forest. In normal times, the great gray owl hunts both day and night. It adjusts an ambush very cleverly, for example, in winter it may bury itself in a snowdrift. The great gray owl does not like warm climate, therefore it lives mainly in the northern regions”, the source said.
According to the scientist, the large bird of prey flew to people in search of food.
“The fact that the owl flew onto the balcony of a residential building suggests that it was looking for food. This is due to the fact that last summer there was a low level of the number of mouse-like species in the forest-tundra and northern taiga”, the biologist explained.
Insufficient food supply, says Leonid Kolpashchikov, is the main cause of the appearance of birds of prey and other animals on the territory of Norilsk:
“There are various reasons why wild animals often come to us. This is mainly due to a change in the food supply. For example, it is not uncommon for Norilsk residents to notice polar foxes near their houses. If there are many lemmings in the tundra, the number of Arctic foxes also increases. Further, this leads to an outbreak of epizootics (a wide spread of an infectious disease among animals), therefore wild animals make chaotic migrations, enter settlements, and even rush to people and dogs”.
The scientist advises the Norilsk people to be careful when they see a polar fox or other wild animals in the city: neither to come up to them nor to stroke them.
Earlier, we told about a lonely swan, which lives at sub-zero temperatures on lake Dolgoye. According to eyewitnesses, the swan flew away, but returned. Specialists are watching the bird. We also reported that on Taimyr we photographed one of the rarest and most beautiful birds in Russia – the kloktun duck.
Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, Photo: social networks