Scientific name: Nyctea scandiaca IUCN status: Listed Habitat: Arctic Canada, Greenland, northern USA -- grassland, rocky tundra Diet: Carnivore -- lemmings, voles, other rodents, small mammals, birds With a wingspan of up to 1.5m, snowy owls are one of the world's largest owls. Males are almost pure white but females and young have some dark scalloping -- both sexes have large yellow eyes. Their dense plumage, heavily-feathered feet and colouration make them well- adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle. They fly south when food is short and are occasional visitors to northern Britain, especially the Shetland Islands.
Owls are skilled hunters -- aided by acute hearing and soft feathers that help them remain silent in flight.