Interesting facts about snowy owls

snowy owl

The ghost like snowy owl has unmistakable white plumage that echoes its Arctic origins.

Snowy Owl wingspan ranges from 1.3 to 1.5 m (4.2 to 4.8 ft) for adult birds.

Height ranges from 52 to 71 cm (20 to 28 in).

Weight ranges from just under 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lb).

Snowy owls life span in the wild is about 9.5 years.

The female snowy owl is slightly larger than the male of the species.

Males are almost all white while females have more flecks of gray plumage.

male and female snowy owls

Snowy owl pairs usually mate for life. Female snowy owls lay from 3 to 11 eggs at a time. Unlike many birds, this owl prefers to nest on the ground.

The female snowy owl sits on her eggs until they hatch. The male feeds her while she keeps their eggs warm and safe. After about one month, the eggs hatch.

The young leave the nest less than a month after they hatch. By the time they’re about a month and a half old, the young owls can fly well, but their parents take care of them for another ten weeks or more.

Young owls, particularly males, tend to get whiter with age.

yung snowy owl

Snowy owls are diurnal, which means that unlike most other owls they are active and hunt during the day and night.

Snowy owls live in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia year-round. However, some only stay during breeding and nesting season and then migrate as far as southern states, like Georgia, in the United States. Some snowy owls also cross the Atlantic Ocean migrating between Russia and Canada.

snowy owel habitat map
Snowy owls predominantly exist in wide open places which are no dominated by trees.

Experts estimated the global snowy owl population at roughly 200,000 to 300,000 birds with nearly half in North America.

The feathers of snowy owls have no pigment, leaving more space for air which helps them to keep warmer because air is such a good insulator.

Their legs and toes are heavily feathered to protect them from the harsh weather in cold arctic regions.


Although it can reach a speed of 80 km/h (50 mp/h), snowy owl is generally known for its silent flight than for its high speed.

The snowy owl is a patient hunter that perches and waits to identify its prey before soaring off in pursuit.

Snowy owls mainly eat mammals, ranging from small rodents to large hares. They are also known to eat birds ranging in size from small songbirds to medium-sized geese and lemmings. An adult owl may eat around three to five lemmings each day (1,600 per year).

snowy owl hunting

Although Snowy Owls have few predators, they still have to be watchful of arctic foxes, wolves and other animals during the nesting season.Males defend the nest by standing guard nearby while the female incubates the eggs and broods the young. When a predator approaches both parents will dive-bomb (even wolves!) and try to distract them away from the nest.

The snowy owl, who is the official bird of Quebec, Canada, is also known as the snow owl, great white owl and the arctic owl.

Snowy Owls often hang out at airports, perhaps because the wide open spaces remind them of the tundra.

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