Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca)
Found throughout the Arctic, the snowy owl is an uncommon transient to Nova Scotia in winter.
Largely dependent on lemmings for food, these birds move southward when food is scarce in their normal range.
The breeding cycle of the snowy owl is directly linked to the lemming population.
These birds control the number of eggs they lay based on the food supply.
The nest is scooped out of lichens on a dry hummock, which is where they incubate from 3 to 10 eggs.
While the female incubates the eggs, for about 30 days, the male brings food and defends the nest against intruders.
The chicks are born with dark down, which helps keep them warm from the cold temperatures.
The snowy owl is a large, powerful bird reaching a length of 55 to 65 cm, with the females being larger
than males. The females are white with more prominent black markings than the adult males. Snowy owls mainly
hunt their prey during the day and are therefore "diurnal". Their main diet are lemmings, but they do eat other
small mammals, birds, fish and carrion.
The birds of prey in the Park have been injured and cannot be returned to their natural habitat.