Skip to main content

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiaca) go by a variety of different names: Artic Owl, Great White Owl, Ghost Owl, or my personal favorite, the White Terror of the North! Even their scientific name was a bit up for grabs, as for years they were classified as the sole extant species within the genus Nyctea. But now, thanks to the magic of *science*, they are now classified with the Great Horned Owls within the genus Bubo.

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Snowy Owls are large, diurnal owls that can be found in Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions across the planet. As their name might suggest, they are white birds as adults. Younger birds have some darker coloration, as do the adult females. (In the Harry Potter films, Hedwig was played by a male owl, as the females have more dark spots)

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe