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 1:51:35 PM (CST) Monday, July 02, 2012

Snowy Owl Facts

Common Name(s): white owls, harfangs, tundra ghosts, ookpiks, Scandinavian nightbirds, highland tundra owls, ermine owls, American snowy owls, snow owls, ghost owls, Arctic owls, great white owls

Scientific Name: Bubo scandiacus

Approximate Wing Span: 49.6–57.1 in, 126–145 cm

Approximate Life Span: Reach 28 years old

Natural Habitat: Treeless areas in the North America

Description & Habitat

Snowy owls are beautiful creatures with white and sparse brown spots. These owls have small eyes and their claws are covered with feathers. They weigh 40-70 ounces, and the males are actually smaller than the females. Their lifespan is impressive, as well. A captive snowy owl was recorded to live for 28 years, while a wild owl was recorded to live for 9 years and 5 months. They are found in North America, usually in Alaska and Canada. Snowy owls can be found in northern United States during winter months.

Food & Hunting

Snowy owls can eat frozen rodents, and an adult owl can eat around 1,600 small rodents per year. That’s three to five small, frozen rodents a day. Snowy owls move nesting locations based on the abundance of rodents around them.

These owls are diurnal, meaning they may hunt at all hours of Arctic summer daylight. They are unlike any other owl because of their daytime hunting. They are extremely agile, too. Another unique feature. So, they are able to catch small birds on the fly.


The snowy owl has been known to defend its nest very aggressively, and it will attack anyone who disturbs it. Some of these owls will actually combat other snowy owls when they are defending their territory. For the most part, they return to their wintering location year after year.

When rescued, Snowy Owls usually are fed thawed frozen rodents.


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