• Snowy Owl

    Nyctea scandiaca


    • Least concern

    • Canada, Northern United States, Europe, and Asia

    • Body: 20 to 28 in (52 to 71 cm)
    • Wingspan: 4.2 to 4.8 ft (1.3 to 1.5 m)
    • Weight: 3.5 to 6.5 lbs (1.6 to 3 kg)

    • Arctic tundra or open grasslands and fields. They rarely venture into forested areas.

    • These large owls breed on the Arctic tundra, where females lay a clutch of 3 to 11 eggs.
    • Clutch size depends upon the availability of food, and in particularly lean times a usually monogamous pair of owls may not breed at all.
    • The eggs are incubated for 31 – 33 days.
    • The young owls leave the nest at 3 – 4 weeks, before they are able to fly, and do not master flight until they are about 8 weeks old.
    • Parents care for their young for about 4 months.

    • Lemmings, rabbits, rodents, birds, and fish.
    • An adult may eat more than 1,600 lemmings a year, or three to five every day.

    • Young owls, especially males, get whiter as they get older.
    • Females are darker than males, with dusky spotting, and never become totally white. Some elderly males do become completely white, though many retain small flecks of dusky plumage.
    • Snowy owls have keen eyesight and great hearing, which can help them find prey that is invisible under thick vegetation or snowcover.


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