5 Montreal birds that soared on the internet

A snowy owl caught on a Transport Quebec traffic camera caught the attention of many on the internet this week. Here are five other memorable Montreal bird moments.

City has long history of strange and memorable moments involving feathered friends

This curious snow owl looks straight at Transport Quebec's traffic camera along Highway 40 at Sources Boulevard. (Transport Quebec)

The video of a snowy owl caught on a Transport Quebec traffic camera made waves on the internet this week, but this isn't the first time a bird has left a lasting impression in Montreal.

Here are our 5 picks for the most memorable Montreal birds.

Falcon hatchling captured on livestream

Université de Montréal's peregrine falcons were already stars in their own right last year  — you could watch them on the university's falcon-cam livestream and they even had their own Facebook page.

But in May 2015, a star was born when the falcon-cam caught its first hatchling. 

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Turkey on the loose 
Residents in Villeray spotted this turkey on the loose. (Liana Morin/Twitter)

Also last May, Liane Morin, a resident in Montreal's Villeray neighbourhood, was surprised to see a turkey slowly amble by as she was gardening. 

The bird was spotted by several residents and became a hit on social media.

No one knew where the turkey came from and the borough's animal shelter was eventually alerted.

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Birds dive-bombing passersby
Male red-winged blackbirds screech at other males to protect their territory, and sometimes they'll attack people who come close to their nests. (AP Photo)

In June of last year, a disgruntled red-winged blackbird sent some CBC and Radio-Canada employees running for cover as the bird dive-bombed anyone in its way.

The bird took up residence at Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal and at one point caused so much disruption that the building's managers had to put up signs warning pedestrians to watch their backs.

The bird's territorial behaviour was front-and-centre in a 2013 YouTube montage — complete with menacing music and slow-motion instant replays.

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Jamming zebra finches 

70 zebra finches play guitar at art installation

7 years ago
Duration 1:45
A new exhibit at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum pairs 70 birds with guitars and basses for a sonic effect.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was alive with the sound of music this past summer when 70 zebra finches made their debut in a living musical exhibit.

The Thetford Mines, Que., birds were perched on 14 electric guitars and basses. Visitors could hear the zebra finches' musical creations through amplifiers stationed around the aviary.

The feathered musicians are still jamming at the museum until March. They get regular visits from a veterinarian to make sure they stay healthy — and a clean-up crew tidies up every morning.

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Atlantic puffin strolls downtown 
The young puffin, originally from the Atlantic Coast, is now resting in a bathtub while staff from a wildbird centre try to book a flight to send it back home. (Le Nichoir)

No one knows how an Atlantic puffin ended up on the streets of downtown Montreal back in 2011.

Some suspected it caught a ride on a ship heading up the St. Lawrence River, others thought the young puffin flew all the way from the Atlantic coast.

When the bird landed in the hands of a Hudson, Que., animal shelter, staff were working on sending the puffin home by Christmas of that year. The ticket may have set them back $150. 

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