Latin Name: Bubo scandiaca
Other Names: Arctic Owl, Tundra Ghost.
Call: Males have a loud booming hoot, and both have a defensive bark.
Habitat and Range: Arctic tundra areas, from Iceland and Scandinavia to Siberia, Alaska and Canada.
Incubation: 32-34 days. 3-11 Eggs are layed depending on food availabilty
Diet: Carnivore- small mammals, other birds. Due to lemmings being their number one food source these owls' numbers often fluctuate with the rise and crash.
Adaptations: Unlike other owls, Snowy Owls will hunt both during the day and at night with the 'sit and wait' technique. Once the captured prey is exhausted the owl will consume it whole if the prey is small enough. If the prey is larger they use their sharp beaks to ripp off smaller peices. Males are almost all white and 20-30% smaller then females weighing around 4 pounds. The females can weigh up to 6 pounds.
IUCN Status: Least Concern 2012
Conservation: The wild population of Snowy owls numbers around 290,000 and is holding steady. Sadly the trend has turned to declining from collisions with both vehicles and airplanes, power lines, gunshot wounds, and entanglement in fishing lines. Snowy Owls are protected under the Migratory Bird Act.
Did you know: An adult may fast for up to 40 days at a time when food is scarce surviving on body fat alone. Soft fringe edged feathers allows for owls to fly silently.
Here at the CMC Zoo: Spartacus or Sparty was hatched on September 22, 1992 at Zoo America. He came to us a little later that year in June of 1992. He was hand raised or "imprinted" by zoo staff. Keepers say there favorite part of taking care of him is how excited he gets to see his keepers.