The Delta Dyke in Boundary Bay Regional Park is one of the coastal habitats chosen roughly every six years by Snowy Owls as they fly south searching for an area to over-winter. This “irruption” results from a severe drop in the number of lemmings that form the bulk of the owl’s food source in their normal tundra habitat. Although it is a natural phenomenon and part of the lemming’s life cycle, the owls face starvation and are forced to hunt elsewhere to survive. Why they choose the marshy foreshore of the Delta Dyke is beyond us. As you can see from the images in this Gallery, the constant rainfall and wind leaves them looking like a wet “mutt” even at the best of times. Fall and winter rain not only soaks their feathers, but the marsh quagmire also covers them with large spots of mud. In other words, getting any kind of pleasing image is almost impossible. Unfortunately, they have chosen an area that is extensively used by the public for walking, cycling, riding horses, exercising dogs and duck hunting. Nonetheless, their arrival is an event, causing an influx of birders, photographers and the public who don’t want to miss getting a glimpse of these rare birds. There are certainly better locations to photograph Snowy Owls in Canada, either in the suburbs of Montreal and Ottawa during the winter or the tundra environs of Fort Simpson or Baker Lake in the late spring and summer.