16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Snowy Owl Family
About 2,100 Km south of the North Pole and 480 Km north of the Arctic Circle, the arctic tundra in Utqiagvik, Alaska is the last breeding ground of the Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) in the United States. According to an owl researcher, the population of the snow owls has been declined at a rapid rate. Today its population is estimated at 80,000, significantly down from 200,000 in 2013. For the first time, the snowy owls earned a spot as “vulnerable” on the IUCN list.
When the male came back with a lemming, rather dropping it on the ground, he would use his beak to gently transfer the prey to the female. When the food supply is abundant, the female would stash them around the nest. But when the food supply is limited, and some fast-growing hungry chicks, the lemming is most likely consumed at the time of the transfer.
At the ten days old, the chick has no problem swallowing the lemming shown in the photo.
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||Nov. 17, 2018, 11:40 a.m.