The Snowy Owl is circumpolar and can be found in Alaska, Canada,
Greenland, Russia, and many areas north of the Arctic Circle. It has a
wide distribution area and will at times migrate to areas south of the
Arctic Circle. There have been reports of Snowy Owls in Ireland,
China, and as far south as Texas and Georgia.
Snowy Owls will most often feed on small rodents including lemmings
and voles. Rabbits are another staple of the Snowy Owl's diet. The
owls are opportunistic and will also feed on other types of birds such
as ptarmigans as well as bird eggs of larger birds.
Snowy Owls will build their nests on the ground, typically in a higher
place than the surrounding land so that they will have good visibility to
predators and prey.
Snowy Owls are among the largest owls in the Arctic as well as North
America. They range from 1.75 - 2 feet in length and have a wingspan
of 4.5 - 5.5 feet. Snowy Owls are white with dark spots, and the
amount of spots will vary from owl to owl. Some Snowy Owls are
virtually all white. Snowy Owls have yellow eyes that are fixed in the
eye socket, and they have the ability to move their heads
approximately 270 degrees in both directions. Snowy Owls have a
thick layer of feathers on their body as well as their feet to enable them
to survive in the tundra.
Mating season for Snowy Owls can occur from April - June and
sometimes throughout the summer. The female Snowy Owl will lay
between 2 - 14 eggs per clutch. After the eggs are laid it will take
between 4 - 5 weeks for the eggs to hatch. Both the male and female
will tend to the nest until the young are ready to leave.