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Snowy Owl Pictures

In this section of the website you will find many good snowy owl pictures. Some of these snowy owl pictures can even make good background images for your desktop.

The snowy owl is a beautiful type of owl, and it is loved by many bird watchers and nature lovers. Further down this page we also give a good description of the snowy owl species with detailed information on their species.

Here is our collection of snowy owl pictures. To view the snowy owl pictures in full size, just click on the pictures.

 

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Here is some detailed information on the snowy owl species.

The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organize plants and animals.

The bird is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl, Great White Owl or Harfang. The Snowy Owl is the official bird of Quebec.

Snowy Owl calls are varied, but the alarm call is a barking, almost quacking krek-krek; the female also has a softer mewling pyee-pyee or prek-prek. The song is a deep repeated gawh. They may also clap their beak in response to threats or annoyances. While called clapping, it is believed this sound may actually be a clicking of the tongue, not the beak.

Snowy Owls nest in the Arctic tundra of the northermost stretches of Alaska, Canada and Eurasia. They winter south through Canada and northern Eurasia, with irruptions occurring further south in some years. Snowy Owls are attracted to open areas like coastal dunes and prairies that appear somewhat similar to tundra.

This powerful bird relies primarily on lemmings and other small rodents for food during the breeding season, but at times of low prey density, or during the ptarmigan nesting period, they may switch to juvenile ptarmigan. They are opportunistic hunters and prey species may vary considerably, especially in winter. They feed on a wide variety of small mammals such as meadow voles and deer mice, but will take advantage of larger prey, frequently following traplines to find food.

Some of the larger mammal prey includes hares, muskrats, marmots, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, prairie dogs, rats, moles, and entrapped furbearers. Birds preyed upon include ptarmigan, ducks, geese, shorebirds, ring-necked pheasants, grouse, American coots, grebes, gulls, songbirds, and even other raptors, including other owl species.

Snowy Owls are also known to eat fish and carrion. Most of the owls' hunting is done in the "sit and wait" style; prey may be captured on the ground, in the air or fish may be snatched off the surface of bodies of water using their sharp talons. Each bird must capture roughly 7 to 12 mice per day to meet its food requirement and can eat more than 1,600 lemmings per year.

Though Snowy Owls have few predators, the adults are very watchful as well as equipped to defend against any kind of threats towards them or their offspring. During the nesting season, the owls regularly defend their nests against arctic foxes, corvids and swift-flying jaegers; as well as dogs, gray wolves and other avian predators.

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