Snowy Owls are diurnal which means that unlike most other owls they hunt during the day and night. The long summer days in the Arctic means snowies have no other choice and must hunt in the daylight.
Males are generally whiter than females. As males grow older, they get whiter. The females never become completely white - remaining brownish with darker markings.
Harfang des Neiges
The snowy owl is the official bird of Quebec, Canada. Known locally as "Harfang des Neiges".
Experts estimate the global snowy owl population at roughly 200,000 to 300,000 with nearly half in North America.
Flaps Fully Deployed
The snowy owl wingspan ranges between 4.2 to 4.8 feet. Females are about 20% bigger than males.
Thanks in part to the thick feathers needed for insulation, snowy owls are the heaviest owl species in North America typically weighing between 3.5 to 6.5 lbs
Snowy owls rely on prey populations that fluctuate significantly. As a result, snowy owls are nomadic birds and go wherever there are ample food resources at any particular time.
The feathers of snowy owls have no pigment, leaving more space for air which helps them to keep warmer because air is such a good insulator.
Snowy owl pairs usually mate for life. Females lay from 3 to 11 eggs at a time in a nest on the ground. When there is plenty of food available, snowy owls tend to lay more eggs than when food is scarce.
Look Into My Eyes
Snowy owl legs and toes are heavily feathered to protect them from the harsh weather in cold arctic regions.
Snowy owls swallow small prey such as lemmings whole. Indigestible parts of animals, like bones and fur, are compacted into pellets that the owls regurgitate up to 24 hours after eating.
Snowy Spiral Wings
The segregated edges on snowy owl flight feathers cut noise produced by wing flapping, which help the owls go undetected by potential prey.