Learn About Snowy Owls

Snowy owl photo by Bruce Wunderlich / Bird Watcher's Digest

Trying to find one of these magnificent birds around you? We’ll tell you where to go and what to watch for. Learn more about snowy owls with a fun quiz, and find tips for viewing the travel-worn birds without disturbing them. Snowy owl photo by Bruce Wunderlich / Bird Watcher’s Digest

Snowy Owl Sighting in Marietta, Ohio

A snowy owl in Marietta, Ohio, is gaining a lot of attention from local birders! Read about the sighting on the blog of Julie Zickefoose, an author, blogger, naturalist, and famous BWD contributor. Photo by Julie Zickefoose.

A snowy owl in BWD‘s hometown is gaining a lot of attention from local birders! Read about the sighting on the blog of Julie Zickefoose, an author, blogger, naturalist, and famous BWD contributor. Photo by Julie Zickefoose.

Snowy Owl Viewing: Observe Without Disturbing

During late December 2013, an immature snowy owl was reported at Little Talbot Island State Park on the Atlantic coast, just north of Jacksonville, Florida. BWD contributor Harry B. Hooper describes his "chase" for this elusive visitor.Snowy Owl (Photo: David Syzdek/Wikimedia)

Seeing a snowy owl is a rare privilege. Enthusiastic observers and photographers should understand and remember that these birds may be stressed by hunger and long-distance travel. It is important to resist the temptation to get too close for a clearer look or better photograph.

Snowy Owl Identification

Snowy owl in Damon Point, Ocean Shores, WA (USA). Photo by Kathy & Sam / Wikimedia.

The snowy owl, a 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.

Find a Snowy Owl Near You

A beautiful snowy owl photographed during the Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous in Sax Zim Bog, Minnesota. Photo by Peter Trueblood.

Snowy owls are invading the United States in magnificent numbers, with new reports coming in daily. We’ve compiled a handy at-a-glance map to illustrate the southerly movements of these birds. You can also get in touch with your local bird club or state ornithological society to learn more about snowy owl reports in your specific region.

Test Your Knowledge of Snowy Owls!

It’s one of the most-desired creatures in any birder’s field guide. Perhaps you’ve had the good fortune to see one of these gorgeous Arctic visitors for yourself. Despite all the fanfare, how much do you really know about these birds? We’ve thrown together a fun quiz to test your knowledge!

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