Snowy Owl

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Snowy Owl

This type of owl is particularly large for owls in both the families and is found in the Arctic tundra of North America and Eurasia. It uses a hole in the ground as a nest for its family. Snowy owls prefer places without trees.

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Strigiformes Strigidae Bubo B. scandiacus

Characteristics of Snowy Owl

  • anatomy

    Anatomy

    The length of an adult snowy owl ranges from 52 – 71 cm. Their height is anywhere between 55 – 75 cm. The wingspan of an adult ranges from 126 – 145 cm. The weight of an adult ranges from 1600 – 2950 g. Its tail length is 8 ¾ – 10 ¾ in. The females of this species are just a tiny bit bigger.

    Their eyes are golden yellow but they are pretty small compared to other owl species.

  • appearance

    Appearance

    Male Plumage: The males of this species have dark brown feathers when they are little, but after they grow up they turn white, but a little brown stays.
    Female Plumage: It is the same case for females except for that the females keep most of the dark brown for their whole life.

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    Sound Call

    snowy owl sound - call
  • owl-video

    Documentary

  • predators

    Predators

    The biggest predator of snowy owls are arctic foxes, but other animals try to steal their eggs.

  • Diet

    Diet

    This species eats lemming and other small animals. Lemmings hide from predators by hiding under snow but the snowy owls have excellent hearing so it can hear even a slight movement from the lemming. After the owl is sure it hears a lemming, it bursts the snow and picks up the lemming. They also eat big mammals such as hares, rats, muskrats, as well as other animals like fish.

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    Lifespan

    The lifespan of this owl averages about 9.5 – 10 years but if in captivity, they can live for as long as 28 years.

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    Interesting Facts

    • Did you know that the snowy owl is the owl Harry Potter had? Here is a list of some of the species of owls used in Harry Potter:
      • Snowy Owl
      • Great Gray Owl
      • Eurasian Scops Owl
      • Eagle Owl
      • Screech Owl
    • Snowy owls are diurnal which means that instead of being awake at night, they are awake at day like us humans.
    • Most of the time, the females lay 3 – 11 eggs at a time.
    • The snowy owls can fly at a speed of 80 km/h.
    • The national animal of Quebec is none other than the snowy owl!
    • They have a lot of names: Arctic owls, great white owls, white owls, American snowy owls, snow owls, ghost owls, tundra ghosts, ookpiks, Scandinavian nightbirds and highland tundra owls and more.
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    Subspecies

    This species has no subspecies.

Cite this article as: "Snowy Owl," in Bio Explorer, July 22, 2017, https://www.bioexplorer.net/divisions_of_biology/zoology/ornithology/types-of-owls/snowy-owl/.

References

  • [1]“What is the snowy owl’s habitat”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
  • [2]“Snowy Owl, Life History, All About Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
  • [3]“Read This if You are Wondering How Long Snowy Owls Live”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
  • [4]“Snowy Owl | Basic Facts About Snowy Owls | Defenders of Wildlife”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
  • [5]“Snowy Owl”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
  • [6]“Snowy Owl – Bubo scandiacus – Common names – Encyclopedia of Life”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
  • [7]“SNOWY OWL FACTS”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
  • [8]“Snowy Owl Biology – Owling.com”. Accessed July 22, 2017. Link.
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