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Bill McMullen | all galleries >> Owls >> Barred Owls > The Rat Terminator
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The Rat Terminator
23-OCT-2010

The Rat Terminator

Downtown Ottawa, Ontario

At first it seems hard to believe that this Barred Owl has taken up residence in the middle of downtown Ottawa. The reason, however, has to do with an "explosion" in the rat population at a small urban park (see the story in the Ottawa Sun online at: http://www.ottawasun.com/news/ottawa/2010/10/21/15781151.html
I counted over a dozen rats in broad daylight foraging for food through the leaves, on the pavement and under the shrubs - evening is apparently much worse. There has been a great deal of controversy of what to do about the rats (see previous link.) It is obvious how the problem started and why it continues if one spends some time there and observes what goes on. This beautiful Barred Owl is certainly not complaining about the rats! I do, however, fear for the owl as the NCC's plan is to use rat poison to take eliminate the rats. If the owl ingests a poisoned rat, the owl could be eliminated as well...

Canon EOS 7D ,Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
1/125s f/8.0 at 400.0mm iso500 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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golfpic25-Oct-2010 05:22
Nice find and shot of this owl. Last winter there was a Barred Owl right across the road from the World Exchange Plaza. One of the workers there said they have a rat problem. I thought he was kidding.
wade clare25-Oct-2010 02:14
Nice to see nature solving the problem.
Hank Vander Velde24-Oct-2010 23:47
Nice find and shot Bill. I may go look for it tomorrow.
Brad Claypole24-Oct-2010 14:39
Well, with the parliment buildings under contruction - the rats had to go somewhere!
Great shot of this 'terminator'. Nice find too so close to home
pkocinski24-Oct-2010 13:09
Bring in a few snakes and the lunchers who created this problem will go away and the rats will too in time. Poison will kill these birds for sure. Great image though :-)
Gary Irwin24-Oct-2010 12:40
Interesting story Bill. I'm jealous of your opportunity to photograph this fantastic owl...but jealous of the rats!
Robert Houde24-Oct-2010 03:13
Owls are very useful and need to be more protected, very nice picture William.
reflectionsofnature24-Oct-2010 01:36
Very interesting, Bill! But I wonder if the poison that is being put out for the rats will end up killing this owl too.
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