Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Synonyms: Arctic Owl, Ghost Owl, Ookpik, SNOW, Tundra Ghost, White Terror of the North.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Aves   >   Order Strigiformes   >   Family Strigidae   >   Genus Bubo   

Status:

The beloved Snowy Owl nests in the Arctic tundra and periodically irrupts to the Lower 48. These irruptions are highly variable and appear to be linked to crashes in lemming populations (about every four years) and following especially successful breeding years. The winter of 2013-2014 was the biggest irruption year since at least the 1960s.

Where to find:

Open areas such as beaches, farm fields, and airports.

Relationships:

Snowy Owls are extremely versatile predators. Here is a partial list of prey species reported: Ducks (dabblers and diving ducks), Canada Goose, Brant, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, American Bittern, American Kestrel, Mourning Dove, Snow Bunting, Norway Rat, Eastern Cottontail, Striped Skunk.

There are 97 records in the project database.

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A Snowy Owl hunts along the beach on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (1/17/2009). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list) (More of this species)

A Snowy Owl on Assateague Island, Maryland (11/28/2008). Photo by Mark Hoffman. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Worcester Co., Maryland (1/9/2018). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Snowy Owls on Hart-Miller Island, Baltimore Co., Maryland (1/16/2014). Photo by Al West. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Talbot Co., Maryland (11/28/2017). Photo by Tim Carney. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl on Hart-Miller Island, Baltimore Co., Maryland (1/16/2014). Photo by Al West. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (1/21/2014). Photo by Mike Burchett. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (1/2/2015). Photo by Mike Burchett. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl on Assateague Island, Maryland (1/19/2014). Viewed from the Ocean City Inlet. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Dorchester Co., Maryland (2/23/2018). Photo by Joe Hanfman. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl makes a personal visit to a home in Westminster, Carroll Co., Maryland (12/17/2013). Photo by Nichole Walker. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl makes a personal visit to a home in Westminster, Carroll Co., Maryland (12/17/2013). Photo by Nichole Walker. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Harford Co., Maryland (12/22/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Harford Co., Maryland (2/17/2018). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl at the Salisbury Airport in Wicomico Co., Maryland (2/7/2014). With this record, Maryland now has documented Snowy Owl records for all 23 counties. Photo by Terry Jones. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Somerset Co., Maryland (1/13/2014). Photo by Joe Hanfman. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Harford Co., Maryland (11/29/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Talbot Co., Maryland (12/18/2017). Photo by Tim Carney. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl at BWI Airport, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (12/25/2013). Note Eastern Cottontail prey. Photo by Ed Boyd. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in flight over Assateague Island, Maryland (12/2/2013). Photo by Allen Sklar. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Talbot Co., Maryland (11/28/2017). Photo by Tim Carney. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl lifting off on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (2/14/2014). Photo by Mike Burchett. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl over Hart-Miller Island in Baltimore Co., Maryland (12/30/2013). Photo by Kye Jenkins. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl over Assateague Island in Worcester Co., Maryland (12/7/2017). Photo by Allen Sklar. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Worcester Co., Maryland (12/12/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Harford Co., Maryland (12/3/2017). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl on the Bay Bridge in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (12/16/2013). Photo by Dan Haas. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Calvert Co., Maryland (12/5/2013). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (11/22/2014). Photo by Mike Burchett. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl resting on a rooftop in Essex, Baltimore Co., Maryland (3/3/2014). Photo by Ryan Johnson. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Gortner, Garrett Co., Maryland (1/4/2014). Photo by Matt Tillett. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Worcester Co., Maryland (1/16/2018). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl pellet in Harford Co., Maryland (3/7/2018). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Harford Co., Maryland (11/9/2017). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Harford Co., Maryland (11/9/2017). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl from Hampton, New Hampshire (1/9/2012). Photo by Jason Lambert. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Canoga, New York (2/15/2009). Photo by Tom Johnson. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl in Dennis, Massachusetts (11/26/2008). Photo by Jeremiah Trimble. (MBP list)

A Snowy Owl being harassed by an American Crow in Cape May Co., New Jersey (2/22/2014). Photo by Sam Galick. (MBP list)


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