Snowy owls are large, beautifu
l birds that are adapted to life in a snow-covered, treeless, rocky environment
. Male and female snowy owls have different feathering for better camouflage. The male
is almost completely white so to blend in with the snow. The female
, however, is covered in dark speckles, so she is hard to spot among the rocks that hold her nest
Snowy owls are powerful hunters. Their big wings flap silently, making it easier to sneak up on their prey. But in their habitat, sometimes weather conditions make it almost impossible to hunt. This is why the snowy owl is the only owl that can store body fat, this extra supply helps it survive the long winter.
Snowy owls mainly feed on lemmings. If lemmings are scarce, snowy owls migrate to Southern regions in search of food. To feed an owl baby, the parent must tear the prey apart, so it can be swallowed easily.
A mother owl lays more or fewer eggs, depending whether or not there is an adequate supply of lemmings. When hatched, owlets huddle together to stay warm, while waiting for a parent to bring them food. As they get older, they will get thick, soft feathers around their legs, to protect from frostbite during the cold winter weather.
Most owls live alone untill mating season. At that time, a male owl presents a female with a dead mouse or other prey to show that he is a good provider and to persuade her to become his mate:
"Honey, I can't take it anymore! I love you! Here's a gift"
"Oh! How sweet! It's another dead rat!"
If the male is successful, he brings her to a nest that he has chosen.