|Image from Wikimedia Commons|
They are a very nomadic species, as in, individual birds do not live in the same area their entire lives. They follow the prey. Many birds also have separate breeding and wintering grounds. Because they breed in open tundras, their nests are built on the group and are vigilantly defended... even from much larger animals like wolves. Because Snowy Owls do not hunt near their nest, other birds species sometimes move in for the protection, as the Owls will drive off other predators in order to protect their eggs.
Snowy Owls hunt by waiting, usually on hills or outcroppings. They sit still until seeing a potential prey object, and they swoop down to capture it either directly from the air, off the ground, or from the water. They feed on small mammals, including hares, voles, and lemmings. Fish, and various bird species are also hunted. After catching their target, they bring it to the ground, flip it over, and break its neck with their beaks to kill it. Snowy Owls will swallow whole anything that they can, but larger prey is torn up and carried off in pieces. When prey is swallow whole and a lot of roughage is consume, more pellets are created.