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Snowy Owl – Bubo (Nyctea) scandiacus
The Snowy Owl is considered the most powerful of the North American Owls. The Great Gray Owls is slightly larger in length although the Snowy is much more massive (up to more than twice the weight) and has a slightly greater wing span.
The Snowy Owl is not likely to be confused with any other large Owl because of its bright white plumage and large size but especially in flight it is sometimes confused. The subarcticus race of Great Horned Owl can also get very light in color although the Snowy lacks its ear tufts. The adult male Snowy Owl can be completely immaculate white. The female is noticeably larger than the male and has more barring. The juvenal male is similar in marking to the adult female; the juvenile female is heavily barred. Details of separating the sexes of this species can be found on its Natural History page.
The Snowy Owl is usually quiet except during breeding or when disturbed. It has relatively small (for an owl) lemon yellow eyes, black bill and talons and feathered feet. its length is 23″ (slightly larger than a Red-tailed Hawk).