Birds of Prey : Snowy Owl
Snowy owls are ghostlike birds characterised by their white plumage. Snowy owls breed on the Arctic tundra and female snowy owls can lay a clutch of 3 to 11 eggs, the size of the clutch will depend on the availability of food. If food is extremely scarce snowy owls will not breed at all. Snowy owls are extremely territorial and will defend their nests against all evil, even wolves.
Young owls, in particular the males, will get much whiter as they get older. Females are normally always darker than the males and never become completely white. Makes have been known to turn entirely white when they get old.
Snowy owls are very patient hunters and will perch and wait to identify prey before they swoop off in pursuit of the animal. Snowy owls have fantastic hearing and keen eyesight which can help the owl to find prey that is hidden entirely by foliage or a cover of snow. Once snowy owls have heard their prey they will plunge their talons into the snow or foliage to snatch their prey.
The favourite meal of a snowy owl consists of lemmings. An adult snowy owl can eat up to 1,600 lemmings every year. If the snowy owls can’t get lemmings to eat then they will settle for rabbits, birds other rodents and fish.
Snowy owls are truly magnificent and can stay in their northern breeding grounds all year if they have to. Snowy owls are however frequent migrants to Canada, Europe and Asia.
Snowy Owl Facts:
Diet – Carnivore
Life Span – 9.5 years
Size – Body 20 to 28 inches, Wingspan 4.2 to 4.8 feet.
Group Name – Solitary