Female Snowy Owl

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    The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is especially a true tundra owl of the typical owl family Strigidae.
    The bird is also known as the Arctic Owl, Great White Owl or Harfang. They breed in coastal Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, as well as in northern Scandinavia, southern Novaya Zemlya and northern Siberia. In winter they migrate south.
    The Snowy Owl is a large, diurnal white Owl that has a rounded head, yellow eyes and black bill.
    Only the males are completely white. Chicks are dark and spotted. Females are darker than males, with dusky spotting on their wings, and never become totally white. Its thick plumage, heavily-feathered taloned feet, and coloration render the Snowy Owl well-adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle. The owl is 51-70 cm long with a 125-150 cm wingspan. The weight varies between 1.2 and 1.9 kg.
    This powerful bird of prey relies primarily on lemmings and other small rodents. Snowy Owls are active during the daytime, from dawn to dusk.
    This picture was taken in Dierenpark Wissel, a small zoo in Wissel-Epe, the Netherlands.

    De imposante sneeuwuil (Bubo scandiacus) is bij uitstek een toendra-uil. In strenge winters wordt hij nog wel eens in Nederland of België waargenomen als dwaalgast. Maar zijn verspreidingsgebied is het uiterste noorden van Azië, Europa en Noord-Amerika. Daar leeft de overwegend witte sneeuwuil op de toendra, op zoek naar lemmingen, maar ook andere knaagdieren en vogels, en daar nestelt hij.
    Volwassen mannetjes zijn meestal sneeuwwit, terwijl de ook witte vrouwtjes donker bruin gevlekt of vlekkerig gestreept zijn. Vrouwtjes worden nooit helemaal wit. Jonge vogels zijn vlekkerig bruin.
    De isolatie die het verenkleed van de sneeuwuil biedt, is buitengewoon ontwikkeld. Om te beginnen is deze vogel bijna geheel bevederd. Hij heeft een korte zwarte snavel, waarvan alleen het puntje uitsteekt. De gele ogen worden beschermd door lange, dichte wimpers. De poten zijn gehuld in een lange veren 'broek', die doorloopt tot op de klauwen. Onder de dekveren draagt de roofvogel warm 'ondergoed' van fijn dons. Met zijn lengte van 51 à 70 cm, een spanwijdte van 125 à 150 cm en een gewicht van 1,2 à 1,9 kg is de sneeuwuil in staat om grote prooien tot rond een kilogram te doden.
    De jachtmethode bestaat voor een groot deel uit op een plek met 360 graden zicht zitten en wachten op een beweging die de positie van een dier verraadt. Dan vliegt de uil laag over de grond en laat zich op de prooi vallen, met zijn krachtige klauwen uitgestrekt om te doden.

    De foto van de sneeuwuil is gemaakt in Dierenpark Wissel ( www.wisselzoo.nl/ ), een kleinschalig en kindvriendelijk dierenpark in het buurtschap Wissel, vlakbij Epe ten noorden van Apeldoorn op de Veluwe. Niet alleen de oppervlakte van het park is klein. Er worden ook uitsluitend kleine dieren gehouden, waaronder soorten die in de grote dierenparken vaak ontbreken.
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    All rights reserved. Copyright © Martien Uiterweerd. All my images are protected under international authors copyright laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission.
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