The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Snowy Owl
(Nyctea scandiaca)

(click on any photos / drawings to enlarge)


(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

Size: 50-68 cm (similar to Osprey).   Description: Predominantly white, with variable amounts of black barring, heaviest on young females and lightest on old males.   Range: High Arctic in summer, above the treeline; throughout Canada in winter.   Habitat: Tundra in summer, any open areas in winter, especially airports and shorelines.   Nest: On the ground, sometimes lined with feathers and moss.   Voice: A low emphatic hoot when breeding, otherwise almost always silent.   Diet: Mostly lemmings when breeding, but will also hunt a variety of other rodents and birds.   Behaviour: Primarily diurnal.   Notes: Usually hunts from an elevated perch. Some species of ducks and geese nest near Snowy Owls for protection against predation by the Arctic Fox.



Link to Owls of New York State fact sheet


Snowy Owl

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