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This yellow-eyed, black-beaked white bird is easily recognizable in its native habitats in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia.

One of the largest species of owl and, in North America, is on average the heaviest owl species it is 52–71 cm (20–28 in) long, with a 125–150 cm (49–59 in) wingspan.  These owls can weigh anywhere from 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lb). The average lifespan in the wild is about ten years. The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark spots; the young are heavily barred, and dark spotting may even predominate. Its thick plumage, heavily feathered taloned feet, and colouration render the snowy owl well adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle.

Snowy owl calls are varied, but the alarm call is a barking, almost quacking krek-krek; the female also has a softer mewling pyee-pyee or prek-prek. The song is a deep repeated gahw. They may also clap their beak in response to threats or annoyances. While called clapping, it is believed this sound may actually be a clicking of the tongue, not the beak.

The snowy owl is a ground nester that primarily hunts rodents and waterfowl and opportunistically eats carrion. Most owls sleep during the day and hunt at night, but the snowy owl is active during the day, especially in the summertime.

 


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