The Snowy Owl breeds throughout the Arctic. In Finland, the species sporadically breeds in the northernmost areas of the mountains only during very good vole and lemming years. The Snowy Owl has suffered, among other things, from egg collecting. The species is globally endangered and in the new Finnish conservation status listing it is classified as critically endangered bird species. The Snowy Owl has adapted to life in Arctic conditions. It has a good protective colour, airy feather covering and a “moustache” that protects its beak and feathers that protect its legs from the cold.
The Snowy Owl mainly eats voles and lemmings. In bad vole years, it will not breed at all, and may wander hundreds of kilometres in search of better foraging lands. Unlike most other species of owls, the Snowy Owl prey voles during the day and can hover in the air when preying. The most famous Snowy Owl is probably Hedwig, the female Snowy Owl in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.
Text: Jukka Jokimäki & Marja-Liisa Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki
Read more about Snowy Owl:
Flying Arctic -frontpage.