Ella

Ella-Snowy Owl

 

Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca)

Ella came to the Medina Raptor Center in November 2007 after being hit by a car in Lakewood, OH and was sitting on half-eaten prey and was very thin. She was rehabilitated and released in March 2008 before being returned a month later with a broken wing after she hit a wire at the Lorain County fairgrounds in Wellington, OH. The injury to wing was severe that she would not be able to sustain any long flight and became an educational ambassador to her species.

 

 


About Snowy Owls

(Information taken from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

At the extreme northern margins of the arctic tundra lives the Snowy Owl, the northernmost, heaviest, and most distinctively marked owl of North America. Largely diurnal, it spends much of its time perched still and silent on prominent lookouts, waiting to make forays for prey.

Description
  • Size: 52-71 cm (20-28 in)
  • Wingspan: 126-145 cm (50-57 in)
  • Weight: 1600-2950 g (56.48-104.14 ounces)
  • Large, white owl.
  • Some dark barring.
  • Variable amounts of dark brown barring on head, wings, back, breast, and tail.
  • Eyes yellow.
  • Feet white and completely feathered.
  • Bill black and mostly covered by feathers.
Sex Differences

Female slightly larger and more heavily barred. Male may be entirely white.

Immature

Immature like adult female. Male gets whiter as it ages.

Food

Lemmings, when available. Also rabbits, rodents, waterfowl, other birds, and fish.

Range
Summer Range:

Breeds in high Arctic from coastal Alaska across Canada to Labrador. Also in northern Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia.

 

Winter Range:

Breeds in high Arctic from coastal Alaska across Canada to Labrador. Also in northern Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia.

Habitat

Breeds on open tundra. Winters in fields and on beaches.

Behavior
Foraging:

Waits on a perch until it locates prey, then pursues and seizes prey in its talons. Can also locate prey visually or by sound, even in dense grass or under thick layers of snow.

Reproduction
Nest Type:

A scrape in the ground, formed into a rounded depression by the female.

.

Egg Description:

White

Clutch Size:

3-11 eggs

Condition at Hatching:

Covered in white down, eyes closed

Conservation Status

Population sizes difficult to estimate because of size and remoteness of habitat. No information on long-term population changes, except an apparent decline in northern Europe.

Sound

Generally silent in winter. Call a deep, powerful hoot. Also a series of harsh clicking.