This nearly all-white bird of the far north is difficult to confuse with anything else. Young birds and adult females are streaked with black. Older adults males are pure white. Some winters when small mammals are scarce in the far north, snowy owls head south in search of food.
Snowies are usually silent while wintering south of the Arctic nesting grounds.
Snowy owls that come south in winter may be stressed and hungry, so it’s best to enjoy watching them from a distance, where you won’t disturb them.
Every winter some snowy owls journey south from the Arctic tundra in search of food, and bird watchers see them perched on fenceposts along meadows and coastal dunes and at other large, open expanses.
In the Arctic in summer, the sun never goes down, so snowies are more adept than other owls at daytime hunting. They may catch and consume as many as 1,600 lemmings in a single year.