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L. 23-28 in. W. up to 5 ft
A circumpolar, holarctic species. Found in northern latitudes around the world. In winter, irrupts irregularly to more southerly latitudes every few years. In North America, it can be found slightly more consistently south to the northern US.
A long-staying pair bred in the Shetland Islands during the 1960's and '70s.
Was formerly placed in its own genus Nyctea
Marshes, beaches, and other open areas, often seen on airport runways
Will often sit on the ground, rather than a perch.
Reminiscent of Common Buzzard but will also chase prey in a falcon-like manner.
In breeding season, predominantly lemmings. Breeding success often depends on the abundance of these rodents. An accomplished hunter. Known to take a wide variety of birds, including ptarmigan, shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl, which can even be captured in flight after a pursuit. Another favourite is rabbits and particularly snowshoe hare. Reported to even snag fish from water.
The nest is a ground scrape.
 In Culture
The Snowy owl was used in the Harry Potter series as the protagonist's pet and messenger. Snowies can be found in several books and movies, and many birders and non-birders alike have been captivated by their beautiful appearance.
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