Snowy Owl

1/1000s at f8.0, ISO:640, Canon Mark IV 1D w/800mm, x1.4 converter

The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. Its thick plumage, heavily feathered taloned feet, and coloration render the Snowy Owl well adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle. The Snowy Owl is typically found in the northern circumpolar region, where it makes its summer home north of latitude 60 degrees north. However, it is a particularly nomadic bird, and because population fluctuations in its prey species can force it to relocate, it has been known to breed at more southerly latitudes. This species of owl nests on the ground, building a scrape on top of a mound or boulder. A site with good visibility, ready access to hunting areas, and a lack of snow is chosen. Gravel bars and abandoned eagle nests may be used. Breeding occurs in May, and depending on the amount of prey available, clutch sizes range from 5 to 14 eggs, which are laid singly, approximately every other day over the course of several days. Hatching takes place approximately five weeks after laying, and the pure white young are cared for by both parents. Both the male and the female defend the nest and their young from predators. Some individuals stay on the breeding grounds while others migrate.
Calgary, Canada