Snowy Owls of the Arctic

Topics: Snowy Owl, Horned owl, Quebec Pages: 4 (1316 words) Published: August 17, 2013
Snowy Owls of the Arctic

Zoology 101
Description of Snowy Owls
Scientific name
Recently changed genus
General size and markings
Differences between males and females
Primary diet and quantity
Diurnal, not nocturnal
Area of hunting ground
Decline of food source
Mates for life
Protection of nesting area
Normal clutch size
Food availability effects on clutch size
How far do they travel for food?
A population decline or local extinction

The snowy owl is a larger raptor type carnivorous bird whose body height is between 20 and 28 inches high. The wingspan of this owl reaches 4.2 to 4.8 feet across and its weight is between 3.5 to 6.5 pounds (“Snowy Owls”, 2012). The genus of this bird has recently been changed from Nyetea Scandiata to Bubo Scandiacus from analyzing their DNA they have found that they are more closely related to the Great Horned Owl which makes them a Bubo ("Snowy Owl," n.d.). The snowy owl is also known by other names such as the Arctic owl or the Great White owl. Most people know the snowy owl from the Harry Potter movies and the character Hedwig. Many snowy owls look this way. The younger owls are white with darker markings and as they age they lose the dark markings and become almost completely white. Females, on the other hand, do not lose all their dark markings. They may become whiter as they age, but still retain some darker or grayish marks on their plumage (“Snowy Owls”, 2012). They have golden colored eyes, their feet have talons and are covered in feathers, and they have short dark colored bills which are very sharp and strong. Their diet consists mainly of lemmings and other small rodents. A typical male snowy owl will eat three to five lemmings each day. Snowy owls are nomadic birds and thus will travel a great distance for food when there is a scarcity of lemmings in their preferred area north of 60 degrees latitude in the arctic tundra (“Snowy Owl”, n.d.). There...

Cited: Krebs, C.J., Reid, D., Kenney, A.J., & Gilbert, S. (2011). Fluctuations in lemming populations in north Yukon, Canada, 2007-2010. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 89(4), 297-306. doi: 10.1139/z11-004
Gilg, O., Sittler, B., & Hanski, I. (2009). Climate change and cyclic predator-prey population dynamics in the high Arctic. Global Change Biology, 15(11), 2634-2652. doi: 10.1111/j. 1365-2486. 2009.01927.x
Snowy Owl. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from
Snowy Owl. (2012). In National Geographic. Retrieved from
Tucker, P. (2010). “Arctic Species at the Cliff’s Edge”. Futurist. 44(1) 7-8
Van Kleef, H.H., Willems, F., Volkov, A.E., S,eets, J.R., Nowak, D., Nowak, A. (2007). Dark-bellied brent geese Branta b. bernicla breeding near snowy owl Nyctea Scandiaca nests lay more and larger eggs. Journal Of Avian Biology, 38(1), 1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.2007. 0908-8857.03639.x
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Snowy Owl Essay
  • Owls Essay
  • Owls Essay
  • Snow Owl Essay
  • The Arctic Essay
  • The Owl Research Paper
  • Owls Essay
  • Arctic Dinosaur Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free