Snowy Owl

(Bubo scandiaca)

The Zoo is home to three snowy owls, a female named Winter, her female offspring named Rocky (hatched in 2022), and a male named Tundra. Winter was hatched in 2011 and came to Seneca Park Zoo in 2012 from the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown, South Dakota. Deemed non-releasable, she has an amputated right wing tip injury of unknown origin. Tundra was hatched in July 2013 and came from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. Unlike Winter, Tundra is able to fly. In 2014, he was confiscated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission from a private citizen. Because he was imprinted on humans, he was deemed unable to be re-released.

Animal Facts

Diet

Lemmings, mice, rabbits, rodents, waterfowl, other birds and fish.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

Snowy owls are found circumpolar, most often in Arctic habitats where they breed including coastal Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

They can also be found in northern Scandinavia, Russia, southern Novaya Zemlya (a large island off the northern coast of Russia) and northern Siberia. During the winter season, some snowy owls migrate south to more temperate habitats. Snowy owls usually inhabit open tundra during summer months. They also inhabit lowland grasslands (saltwater grass meadows and freshwater wet meadows), especially for hunting.

They are protected, however, under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act and CITES Appendix II. Snowy owls are victims of collisions with vehicles, gunshot wounds, utility line and airplane collisions, electrocutions and entanglement with fishing lines.