Mystery Bird: Snowy Owl, Nyctea scandiaca

tags: , , , ,

[Mystery bird] Snowy Owl, Nyctea scandiaca, photographed on the Fort Pierre National Grasslands in South Dakota. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]

Image: Terry Sohl, 4 January 2009 [larger view].

Photo taken with Canon 50D, 400 5.6L.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.

More like this

large head + round face + white color = snowy owl

This one is easy enough even for me. Snowy Owl.

Field marks? White color, but also the smudge marks around the eyes (which eliminates it being an albino of another species).

The species is a female Nyctea scandiaca as evidenced by her white body and an increased amount of markings which clarifies this particular specimen as female.

Not to get too technical here, but it's a HEDWIG! :D

Before I did a quick google search I did not know how to differentiate males and females. I'll say its an adult female because it looks full grown and has a lot of markings.

Snowy Owl--total morphological pattern--one could never mis-ID this bird