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Dancing on ice: Snowy owl left with a big smile on his face as practises his moves
20:16 GMT, 16 December 2012
This owl looks like it's taking advantage of the cold weather to practise its skating moves on the ice.
The snowy owl was captured on camera with one leg outstretched behind it while it balanced on one claw.
But, the beautiful bird may just have been stretching after it woke up to freezing temperatures of -20C in Montreal, Canada.
This bird's got moves: This snowy oil was pictured stretching out its left leg while he balanced on the other one
Dancing on ice: Wildlife photographer Yves Adams followed the bird all day before he took these pictures
ABOUT THE SNOWY OWL
The snowy owl has unmistakable white plumage that echoes its Arctic origins.
Young owls get whiter as they get older.
Females are darker than males with dusky spotting and never become totally white.
They have keen eyesight and good hearing which help them when they are hunting for prey hiding under vegetation or snow.
These magnificent birds sometimes remain year-round in their northern breeding grounds, but are frequent migrants to Canada, the norther United States, Europe and Asia.
Source: National Geographic
Wildlife photographer Yves Adams battled the freezing winds to capture the incredible shots on camera – after following the bird all day.
Mr Adams, from Belgium, said: ‘I had seen the owl hunting in the area for a few days, so I tried to follow him, as he'd obviously found a good spot.
‘I really wanted to get close to this bird, so I crawled very slowly through the snow, protected in my down clothing, for an hour or so.
‘Eventually I came pretty close, maybe 15metres away, but the owl was very relaxed. It was a beautiful thing to see, even if it was very cold, lying on the snow.
‘Although the bird was in a deep sleep, his peeping eyes recorded every movement I made.
‘Suddenly he woke up, and stretched. This all happened in seconds, so I had to react very very fast.
Sleepy head: Photographer Yves Adams captured the shots while the owl was sleeping and in the seconds after he woke up
‘I have a lot of respect for these northern birds. I was able to retreat to my warm hotel room each night, but this bird had to stay out all night, often with strong blizzards at night, with very low temperatures.’