This page has all the best and most interesting Snowy Owl Facts for Kids you will need. Almost everyone knows what a snowy owl looks like, if not we have a few snowy owl pictures that will help. This large bird breed has distinctive white features that are marked by narrow and widely spread out bars and spots. They have golden colored eyes that are actually small when compared to other owls. Another distinctive feature is the presence of feathers on the claws and toes. Their bills are dark colored and is short and pointed.
Their mating season is the month of May and gestation lasts for about 32 days in which the egg gets incubated. Their clutch size depends upon how much food is available. When the food is in plenty, it can be as high as seven to eleven eggs and when there is not enough food, it is usually between three to five eggs.
The female incubates the eggs while it is the male’s responsibility to guard and provide food to the female and the young chicks. They do not let their young ones leave the nest till they are at least 25 days old. The chicks do not know how to fly until around 50 days from hatching. Even after they leave the nest, they rely upon their parents for their food for the next five weeks.
Where Do Snowy Owls Live?
Now that is an interesting question, where do snowy owls live? Well in this case their name suggests that they may live in the snow, or is it that they are white and look snowy? Its actually a bit of both. They do look snowy but they also live in very cold areas where snow often falls, sometimes it can even snow all year long. Snowy owls live in North America, in the Arctic tundra region. However, some tend to migrate to southern Canada and the northern part of the United States. In some years, during winters, it is possible to spy snowy owls in the northern plains, New England and New York. Lemmings determine how far south snowy owls migrate during summer.
What Do Snowy Owls Eat?
The main diet of these owls is lemmings. One snowy owl can consume three to five lemmings every day. However, if the number of lemmings is low, snowy owls are known to prey on ptarmigan and waterfowl. In their wintering and breeding grounds, these owls also can prey on small birds while they are flying, ducks, geese, grebes, seabirds, squirrels, weasels, rabbits, wading birds, hares and rodents.
Snowy Owl Pictures
Snowy Owl With Wings Spread
Photo Credit: Will Thomas
Perched Snowy Owl
Photo Credit: USFWS Mountain-Prairie
Snowy Owl Flying
Photo Credit: m01229
Snowy Owl Fun Facts
- Young owls, particularly males, tend to get whiter with age.
- Female snowy owls are darker in color compared to males and are not totally white.
- Snowy owls hunt actively during both day and night and are thus called, diurnal.
- Snowy owls mainly eat lemmings and they swallow them whole. They will sit still till they catch their prey.
- Snowy owls fly to other parts of the country, leaving the Arctic tundra region in search of food when the lemming population goes down. This is the reason why snowy owls can also be found in south, central and northern parts of the United States.
- Snowy owls can eat as many as 1,600 lemmings every year.
- They stay warm as their feathers do not have any pigments which leaves more room for air, which just happens to be an excellent insulator.
- These owls are also protected against the cold by heavy feathers on their toes and legs.
- During nesting season, snowy owls keep an eye out for wolves and foxes, with the male standing guard at the nest. They go to any lengths to distract a predator from their nest.
- Other names for the Snowy Owl are Great White Owl and Arctic Owl.
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