Snowy owl

A male snowy owl.

A male snowy owl.

A female snowy owl.

A female snowy owl.

The snowy owl is found across most of the Northern Hemisphere, with its range spanning from north-east Siberia to Canada.  Sometimes, these owls get swept away from their migration routes in the winter and up on the shores of the UK.

Snowy owls are the largest owls in the world excluding the eagle and great greys, and can weigh 2.5kg and have a wingspan of up to 1.55m.

Due to there northerly breeding range, their are no trees where they nest so these beautiful owls have to nest on the ground.Lemmings make up a massive percentage of the snowy owls diet in the breeding season and one owl chick can eat up to 3 of these rodents a day.  They will also take ducks and seabirds.  The smaller male will do most of the hunting when their is chicks to feed.  Snowy owl parents are ferocious protectors of their young, and both adults will help to see of skuas, arctic foxes and even wolves and polar bears.

The male has more white on him than the female, with only a few barred on his breast.  The female is larger and is covered with barred all over her body.  Like some other owls, snowys have feathers right down to their talons.