Snowy owl in flight.
Scientific name: Nyctea scandiaca
Family name: Strigidae
Are they endangered? No, they are not endangered worldwide. [IUCN Red list: Least concern]
What are their past/present problems? Their enemies are wolves and Arctic foxes.
What do they look like? Male Snowy Owls are almost entirely white. Females have some black spots on them but are mostly white. They have yellow eyes and black beaks.
How big are they? They are about 2 feet long. If they stretched out their wings as far as they could, they would be about 5 feet wide.
How many eggs do they lay? Females lay from 0 to 11 white eggs once a year. The eggs hatch in one month.
How long do the fledglings stay in the nest? They build their nest in any small indentation on the ground. They only put a small amount of things like grass to line their nests. The young owls [owlets] stay in the nest for 3 weeks.
When do they hunt? They hunt at night and during the day. [nocturnal and diurnal] The areas in which they live sometimes have light night and day. Sometimes they have darkness during the night and day, too.
What do they eat? They like to eat voles [a cousin to MICE] and lemmings [like MICE!]. They will sometimes eat other things like fish and other birds.
Where do they live? They live in Scandinavia, China, The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Korea.
What kind of place do they like to live in? They live on tundra areas which are grassy plains that don’t have trees.
Interesting facts: They are “fast and fierce enough to knock a grown man to the ground.” [Warren]
Hedwig, Harry Potter’s owl, is a Snowy Owl. His owl is a female but, in the movies, they use male owls because they are totally white.
They will fly south if they can’t get enough prey. They will also lay fewer eggs if they are hungry.
They grab prey with their feet and talons.