Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Snowy Owl" - Project 365 - Day 31 of 365

Snowy Owl - Project 365 - Day 31 of 365
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"Snowy Owl"

Day 31 of 365

A snowy owl perched on a hay bale in southern Alberta, between Magrath and Cardston, Alberta, Canada.

The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a large, bird of prey of the Arctic regions of the world. It nests north of the tree line, in the arctic tundra of both Eurasia and North America. The Canadian breeding range includes the islands of the Arctic Archipelago, from Ellesmere Island in the north, to Baffin Island in the east, to Banks Island in the west, and along the northern coast of the continent from Yukon Territory to Labrador.

In winter the Snowy Owl visits many parts of southern Canada and the northern United States. In certain parts of their wintering range (on the prairies of western Canada and in the unforested parts of southern Ontario and Quebec, as well as in adjacent regions of the northern United States), they are regular visitors, although their numbers vary from year to year.

Unlike many other owls, the snowy owl is not nocturnal. With almost constant daylight during their breeding and nesting periods in the Arctic, many believe the owls have adapted to their environment.

These beautiful birds have white and dark brown feathers covering their bodies that supply them with camouflage in their usually snowy habitat. Males can be pure white, however females always have some brown feathers. Since snowy owls are found in colder climates, they have a thick layer of down underneath their many layers of feathers to keep themselves warm in even the most frigid temperatures.

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