Male and female snowy owls can be distinguished by their markings; males are nearly all white, while females are marked with dark bars.
These markings are to camouflage the female while she is nesting on the ground. Often pairing for life, the male snowy owl performs an aerial display for the female during courtship, sometimes carrying a lemming too. Snowy owls will aggressively defend their nest from predators, and have even been known to drive wolves away. Snowy owls are believed to be closely related to eagle owls, and, like eagle owls, do not have a prominent facial disc characteristic of most owls.
DID YOU KNOW? Unlike most owls, which are nocturnal, snowy owls are diurnal—they hunt and are active both day and night.
- Least Concern
- Near Threatened
- Critically Endangered
- Extinct in the Wild