Snowy Owl

Bubo scandiacus

The Snowy Owl lives in the Arctic, in areas of Alaska, Canada and Northern Europe.

This powerful bird preys mainly on small rodents, such as lemmings or mice. But Snowy Owls are opportunistic hunters and will take advantage of larger prey, such as rabbits and hares, and even eat other birds including ducks, gulls and pheasants. Each owl must capture roughly seven to twelve mice per day to meet its food requirements; this can add up to 1,600 lemmings per year!

Like many other birds, Snowy Owls swallow their small prey whole. Strong stomach juices digest the flesh, while the indigestible bones, teeth, fur, and feathers are compacted into oval pellets that the bird regurgitates 18 to 24 hours after feeding.

Listen to… Bethany Palumbo – Conservator of Life Sciences

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In 2013, while the Oxford University Museum of Natural History is closed to have the roof fixed, some of the exhibits have sneaked away to the town centre!
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