Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl photographs taken at Lakeshore State Park on Milwaukee’s Lakefront on December 9, 2013.

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

Binomial name: Bubo scandiacus

Category: Typical Owls

Description: Adult males are mostly white with a few dark feather tips.  Adult females and juveniles are white with dark scalloping on chest, back, wings, and tail.  Yellow eyes, black beak, and feathery feet.

Size: 20”- 28” long, 49” – 59” wingspan

Weight: 3.5 lb. – 6.6 lb.

Habitat: Wide open, treeless spaces such as shorelines, lakes, open fields, and agricultural sites.

Diet: Small mammals such as rodents, lemmings, voles, mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and other birds such as shorebirds, songbirds, ducks, geese, and pheasants.

Nesting: The female builds a nest on a mound with good visibility.  She scrapes away the top layer of soil and, over several days, presses her body into the ground to make a depression.  She will lay a clutch of 3 to 11 eggs and incubate them for about 5 weeks.  Both parents will defend the nest and care for the hatchlings which are born pure white.  The same nest may be used year after year.

Notes: Snowy owls are considered the heaviest owl in North America, weighing about a pound more than its closest contender, the Great Horned Owl.  A snowy owl was featured in the Harry Potter series when Harry received his pet, Hedwig.  It is also the official bird of Quebec.

Snowy Owl

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

5 Responses to Snowy Owl

  1. Michael J. matusinec says:

    Wow! Jim that is a great capture, I am so jealous, awesome subject

  2. Caryl Zaar says:

    Juveniles have the scapulars of dark spots as well as females. Males and juveniles are the most common eruptures into our south of the Artic areas.

  3. Nancy Nabak says:

    Even though he’s from the Arctic, he still looks cold! Brrrrr! Nice composition of his environment. Congrats!

  4. Ruth Ruddock says:

    Nice to see this Snowy Owl, Jim…and to read some about the bird’s habits, etc.

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