Common Bird Species of Northwestern Ontario





Nyctea scandiaca
Snowy Owl


Distinguishing Features - As large as the Great Horned Owl but lacks ear tufts. Overall colouration white, barred and spotted with brownish accents. Face, completely white; eyes, large, yellow; legs and toes, heavily feathered. Male is usually white or only lightly marked. Female (pictured below) is somewhat larger and more heavily marked than the male.

Snowy Owl Size -
average: 56 - 68.5 cm (22.5 - 27.5 in)


The Snowy Owl is actually a resident of the high Arctic tundra but migrates south to hunt during the winter months. It prefers open fields and marshes to wooded areas.


In the Arctic, the Snowy Owl's nest will consist of a depression in the ground lined with moss and grass. Eggs, 5 - 7; white Incubation period: 32 - 33 days.


The Snowy Owl is a winter visitor to Northwestern Ontario and hunts during daylight hours, unlike other owls that are nocturnal. It's diet consists mainly of rodents but will also eat small birds.

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