Snowy Owl NycteaScandiaca
Where its name comes from • Greek word nycteus, meaning nocturnal, and the Latinized name for Scandinavia, where the first specimen was collected. • also called the Arctic Owl or Great White Owl.
Where is its habitat • Snowy Owls are circumpolar and live in the tundra regions between tree line and the polar seas in the Northern Hemisphere. • may move south out of its normal range during low prey winters. • This is known as irruption.
Offspring • Females lay about 3-11 eggs depends on • availability of food • In particularly lean times a usually a pair of owls may not breed at all. • Parents are territorial and will defend their nests against all comers even wolves. • Start mating around may
characteristics • Young owls, especially males, get whiter as they get older. • Females are darker than males, with dusky spotting, and never become totally white. • Some older males do become completely white, though they may have small flecks of spots (plumage).
Diet • A snowy owl's preferred meal is lemmings. An adult may eat more than 1,600 lemmings a year, or three to five every day. • They also eat rabbits, rodents, birds, and fish.
Why endangered • “global warming” • collisions with automobiles, utility lines and other objects and gunshot wounds. • Recent reports indicate they are being illegally killed for their eyes and feet, which are traded in Asian markets.
Efforts being made • Snowy owls are listed under Appendix II. • Snowy owls are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, however, Alaska law allows Alaska residents to shoot unlimited numbers of owls if they are used for food or clothing. No bird or part of a bird may be sold or offered for sale.
Quick facts • Snowy owls swallow their prey, such as lemmings, whole! • The snowy owl is the official bird of Quebec, Canada • Height: Up to 27 inches.Length: 20-27 inches (wingspan of 4.5-5.5 feet).Weight: 40-70 ounces; males smaller than females.Lifespan: The oldest snowy owl living in the wild was recorded to be 9 years and 5 months. A captive snowy owl lived for at least 28 years.