Snowy Owls are among the largest owl species in North America. They have feathers that are mainly white, echoing their Arctic origins. Compared to males, females are darker. When the young Snowy Owl gets older, it becomes whiter. The white plumage of Snowy Owls has brown spots and streaks, and their claws and toes are covered by feathers. Although their beak is short, it is powerful and sharply pointed. Unlike other species of owls, they generally hunt in the day. Their diet typically consists of lemmings, mammals, other small rodents, large hares, birds, rabbits, fish, and geese. Among these different animals, their favorite preys are lemmings. In fact, an adult Snowy Owl may eat about 3 to 5 lemmings per day, adding up to approximately 1,600 a year. They are patient hunters which have excellent sense of sight and hearing that aid them in finding their prey under thick vegetation or snow. Once they identify their prey, they snatch it with their sharp talons. They remain year-round in their northern breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra. However, they also migrate to Canada, Europe, northern part of the United States, and Asia. During the breeding season, Snowy Owls can be found in western Aleutians in Alaska, northern Labrador in Canada, and northern Quebec. Occasionally, they can also be found in Texas, central California, and Florida.
Snowy Owls are categorized under Least Concern and are not globally threatened. However, the population of these birds is declining in Northern Europe. One of the main threats that are faced by Snowy Owls is climate change that affects their habitat and prey. They are also illegally hunted for their feet and eyes that are traded in Asia.