Despite the freezing temperatures and wind, this Snowy Owl stayed put at the top of a high snag in a Minnesota bog, where I had gone hoping to find him. Since these birds breed in the Arctic, they are well adapted to that type of weather! It was a gray, cold day, so it would have been easy to miss this white owl that blended so well into the background of white clouds and snow.
The Snowy Owl is a patient hunter that perches and waits to identify its prey before soaring off in pursuit. Snowy owls have keen eyesight and great hearing, which can help them find prey that is invisible under thick vegetation or snowcover. The owls deftly snatch their quarry with their sharp talons. The largest owl in North American by weight, this owl shows up irregularly in winter to hunt in windswept fields or dunes, In certain years, some remain on their breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle year-round, while others migrate in winter to southern Canada and the northern half of the contiguous United States.
Photo taken on February 23rd in Minnesota, north of Duluth.