Saturday, October 02, 2010

Zoo4 - Snowy Owl

One of my favorites at the zoo, was the Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus).

She (I think it's a female) would get a little excited— fluff up the wings/feathers, go around in a circle, and make noise— if I shuffled my feet in the pile of leaves on the trail. So that was quite entertaining. :) I should really capture these moments on video, but just wasn't prepared for that.

Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca)
"Strictly a bird of open country, it is practically never seen in a tree; it sits on the ground, a rooftop, or other exposed resting place."

Bubo scandiacus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Strix scandiaca Linnaeus, 1758
Nyctea scandiaca Stephens, 1826
"Until recently, it was regarded as the sole member of a distinct genus, as Nyctea scandiaca, but mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data (Olsen et al. 2002) shows that it is very closely related to the horned owls in the genus Bubo."

Sign at Zoo said:
"...recently found to be very closely related to the Great Horned Owl through DNA analysis."
"adult male is nearly solid white, while the females are mottled with black."
"Unlike most other owls, they hunt primarily during the day."

"These Owls are highly diurnal, although they may hunt at night as well."

diurnal [active during the day] vs nocturnal [night] vs crepuscular [twilight]

"...the snowy is a regular wintering bird in North Dakota and can often be seen perched conspicuously on haystacks, fence posts and stumps."

Owls of North Dakota


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