Snowy Owl

Snowy Owls

Take a closer look at the wintry landscape, because this species can blend in. We are home to males ‘Samwell’ and ‘Jon Snowy’.

An icon of the Arctic

True to their name, snowy owls are often hard to spot against the snow, but it might surprise you that both males and females have brown markings, though they are more extensive on a female. Not only does a snowy owl’s plumage help it blend into its landscape, but it also helps them to stay warm in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius. Unusually among owls, the snowy owl hunts both day and night.


  • IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (at high risk of extinction in the wild)
  • Type: Bird
  • Habitat: Tundra of North America, Europe, and Asia
  • Diet: Carnivore – lemmings, rabbits, and birds
  • Size: 20 to 28 inches, 4.2 to 4.8 feet wingspan
  • Weight: 3.5 to 6.5 pounds
Snowy Owl Snowy Owl Snowy owl
Burrowing owl

Care & Conservation

Burrowing Owls

Our work in owl conservation doesn’t stop at the zoo. We work with Alberta’s ministry for Environment and Protected Areas and the Canadian Wildlife Service on a conservation program for the burrowing owl.
Learn More

facts about our animals

Fun Facts about Snowy Owls

The circle of feathers around its eyes help it to reflect sound to its ears.

Both males and females grow whiter as they age.

A snowy owl hunts by flying low and then snatching prey up into the air.

Snowy owls have excellent eyesight, spotting mice over 300 feet away from them

Snowy owls are opportunistic hunters and have been known to hunt fish, waiting at holes in the ice for prey.

During the continuous daylight of an Arctic summer, a snowy owl will hunt at all hours.

Snowy Owl


How you can help

Your donation makes a world of difference. With support for animal care, conservation programs, and education, you’re making the world wilder.

Meet Our Animals

Wild Canada

Woodland Caribou

Wild Canada

Woodland Caribou

Learn More
Grey wolves

Wild Canada

Gray Wolves

Learn More
North American Porcupine

Wild Canada

North American Porcupines

Learn More
Egyptian Tortoise

Plan Your Visit

Get close to wildlife

It’s time to make some memories. Here’s everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable day at the zoo.