OTHER NAME: White Owl
STATUS IN OKLAHOMA:|
Very rare to casual late fall and winter visitant in grassland, fields, and airfields; scattered records throughout northern and central Oklahoma; seldom found in southern counties; November 15 - March 11.
"Oklahoma Bird Life" by Frederick M. & A. Marguerite Baumgartner
The Snowy Owl is a very large white owl which can be as tall as a Great Horned Owl. They weigh more than any other North American owl. Their head is very round and has no ear tufts, yellow eyes and black beak are very prominent. The adult males become almost pure white, while the females and immatures have black or brown speckles.
The Snowy Owl prefers open spaces which can be tundra, grasslands, or frozen expanses of water. The normal habitat is the treeless tundra but it can be found in the winter hunting in harbors, railroad yards and cities.
This species of owl relies mostly on small rodents such as lemmings and is also capable of taking hares and large birds such as ptarmigan. This owl depends mostly on cyclic lemming for the majority of its food.
The female will lay her eggs on a grassy hummock. Snowy Owls will produce large clutches, (families), in years with abundant lemmings and small clutches in lean years. The number of eggs seems to be stimulated by the amount of food the male is able to supply.
The Snowy Owl has no special status.