Many birds are distinctive in their own right, but the snowy owl might be one of the most distinct birds of all. Being mostly white in color, their golden eyes stand in stark contrast even though they are smaller than average when compared to other owls. The eyes speak of intelligence and thought, making them one of the largest and most fascinating owl species in North America.
1. A Daytime Genius
Most owls hunt at night, but that’s not what the Snowy Owl likes to do. They prefer to hunt during the day and prefer to go after small rodents. They’re a particular fan of eating lemmings, eating up to 5 of them every day, but Snowy Owls have been know to attack geese and even large rabbits when they are hungry enough. They follow their prey, so are highly nomadic as a species and are often found throughout all of northern North America.
2. Defenders to the Core
You don’t want to find yourself stumbling onto the nest of a Snowy Owl. They defend their nests with a particular ferocity that is virtually unmatched by other bird species. It does not matter how big the attacker might be. The owl is going to attack anyone that comes to disturb their home. If being aggressive won’t work, Snowy Owls will pretend to be hurt and lead the predator away from their nest. Once it’s far enough away, it just flies back home.
3. Who Needs a Tree?
Many of the habitats that the Snowy Owl calls its home are barren and bleak. Many of them live out on the frozen tundra and will build their next on the open ground. This can create a certain danger, but it also helps Mom and Dad Snowy Owl to keep track of their young ones. Since a clutch can be as many as 6 and the baby owls are gray in color instead of white, they need all of the supervision they can get.
4. Superhero Hearing
Snowy Owls have incredible hearing. It’s so sensitive that they can hear lemmings or other rodents moving under up to 10 inches of snow. Since their feathers help them to withstand cold temperatures as low as -40F, this gives them a hunting advantage which allows them to find enough food to feed everyone consistently.
Snowy Owls are one of the most fascinating birds of North America. Only the strongest and toughest animals can survive the environments this bird calls home, which means the Snowy Owl is not a bird you’ll want to mess with should you meet one.