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Owl Snowy (Nyctea scandiaca)
Photo by Roden,Essex,UK
 


Owl Snowy (Nyctea scandiaca)

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The Snowy Owl is a very large day flying (diurnal) owl with the female being larger and heavier than the male. Most hunting is done in the "sit and wait" style, swivelling the head as much as 270 degrees scanning for prey. Most prey is caught on the ground. Snowy Owls are mainly dependent on lemmings and voles throughout most of their Arctic and wintering range. When these prey are scarce they are an opportunistic feeder and will take a wide range of small mammals and birds.
The Snowy Owl nests almost exclusively on the ground, where the female makes a shallow scrape with her talons on top of an elevated rise, mound, or boulder. Breeding occurs in May, Clutch and brood sizes are heavily dependent on food supply. Clutch sizes normally range from 5 to 8 white eggs but may be as many as 14 eggs during high lemming years. Eggs hatch in 32-34 days. Young begin to leave the nest after about 25 days, well before they can fly. They are fledged at 50 to 60 days. Both parents feed and tend the young.


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