Nature Canada

Winter 2018 Is The Time To See Some Snowy Owls!

Image of Aniko Pollak

Aniko Pollak, Guest Blogger

This blog was written by guest blogger Aniko Pollak. 

Nature Canada’s February Calendar Month is the Snowy Owl and what a perfect month to choose the species!

We are in the midst of winter and there have been many reports of Snowy Owls in southern cities and towns across Canada. This is the time to get all your winter gear on and go looking for them.

Snowy Owls have so many interesting features:Image of a Snowy Owl

  • They are largest owl by weight in North America.
  • Males are almost entirely white, with some brown spotting – while juveniles and females sport a much higher density of brown spots.
  • Their feathers are thick and insulated keeping them warm in the cold arctic winter. They even have feathers covering their talons!
  • Their average wingspan is four to five feet, which allows them to glide through the air – hardly making any noise to avoid prey detection.
  • They are diurnal, meaning that they hunt day and night, not like most owls!

Snowy Owls mainly live in the arctic where they breed during the summer months. However, during winter months they may migrate in extremely large numbers to southern Canada and northern United States, known as irruptions.

Speculation on what causes Snowy Owl irruptions might involve the regional population fluctuations of lemmings. An extreme abundance of lemmings one season may lead to an extremely successful breeding success the next, which spikes the Snowy Owl population!

 Winter 2018 is an irruption of Snowy Owls in Canada!

That is why 2018 is a great year to go outside or check out some open fields for Snowy Owls.  Try looking for them in fields, and open farmland. They like to be perched on fence posts, atop of telephone wire posts, and overhanging branches!

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