- Genus/Species: Bubo scandiacus
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
- Location: Arctic regions of the old and new worlds
The Largest North American Owl
The snowy owl is a bird of Arctic tundra, open grasslands and fields. It is large, white with a rounded head, yellow eyes and black bill. Its feet are covered with feathers and have extra thick pads. Snowy owls have incredible vision. They can see from high up in the sky and swoop down silently to capture their prey. Like all owls, they have good night vision too. Snowy owls also have great hearing. Their ears are positioned in different locations on either side of its head. As a result, the sound of its prey reaches the ears at two different times. Snowy owls are highly nomadic and their movements are tied to the abundance of their main prey, lemmings.
Snowy owls are among the largest North American owl species. They are more than two feet long, and their wing span can be around 5 feet- which is around the height of a 12 year old kid. Snowy owls are mainly dependent on lemmings and voles for food. When these are scarce, they will feed on a wide range of small mammals and birds. Prey are captured on the ground, in the air, or snatched off the surface of bodies of water.
Snowy owls may face threats from climate change which linked to changing temperatures that affect both their habitat and prey. You can help snowy owls by symbolically adopting one …this helps save real animals in the wild.
Did You Know?
- An adult snowy owl may eat 3 to 5 lemmings a day.
- The feathers of the snowy owl have no pigment or coloring. This leaves more space for air which helps to keep the owl warmer, because air is such a good insulator. The lack of pigment also makes the owl white.
- Snowy owls swallow their prey, such as lemmings, whole!
- The snowy owl is also known as the arctic owl or the great white owl.