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Snowy 2

Snowy 2
Photo Information
Copyright: Mircea Costina (mirceax) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 229 W: 49 N: 1356] (6261)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D50, Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/2000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-20 15:08
Viewed: 3032
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. It is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl or the Great White Owl. 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.

This yellow-eyed white bird is easily recognizeable. It is 53-65 cm (20-26 inches) long with a 125-150 cm (50-60 in) wingspan. The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark scalloping; the young are heavily barred, and dark spotting may even be predominate. Its thick plumage, heavily-feathered feet, and coloration render the Snowy Owl well-adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle.

Snowy Owl calls are varied, but the alarm call is a barking, almost quacking krek-krek-krek-krek; the female also has a softer mewling pyee-pyee-pyee-pyee or prek-prek-prek. The song is a deep repeated gawh. They may also clap their beak in response to threats or annoyances. While called clapping, it is believed this sound may actually be a clicking of the tongue, not the beak.

The Snowy Owl is typically found in the northern circumpolar region, where it makes its summer home north of latitude 60 degrees north. However, it is a particularly nomadic bird, and because population fluctuations in its prey species can force it to relocate, it has been known to breed at more southerly latitudes. During the last ice age, there was a Central European paleosubspecies of this bird, Bubo scandiacus gallicus, but subspecies are not recognized among the living population.

This species of owl nests on the ground, building a scrape on top of a mound or boulder. A site with good visibility, ready access to hunting areas, and a lack of snow is chosen. Gravel bars and abandoned eagle nests may be used. Breeding occurs in May, and depending on the amount of prey available, clutch sizes range from 5 to 14 eggs, which are laid singly, approximately every other day over the course of several days. Hatching takes place approximately five weeks after laying, and the pure white young are cared for by both parents. Both the male and the female defend the nest with their young from predators. Some stay on the breeding grounds while others migrate.

Snowy Owls winter south through Canada and northernmost Eurasia, with irruptions occurring further south in some years. They have been reported as far south as Texas, Georgia, the American Gulf states, southern Russia, northern China and even the Caribbean. Between 1967 and 1975, Snowy Owls bred on the remote island of Fetlar in the Shetland Isles north of Scotland, UK. Females summered as recently as 1993, but their status in the British Isles is now that of a rare winter visitor to Shetland, the Outer Hebrides and the Cairngorms.


MMM, Evelynn, vanderschelden, NinaM, CeltickRanger, rcrick, Luis52, Juyona, Ena has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-02-20 15:12]

Hello Mircea
Nice capture.Good POV and sharp image.Details and colors are great.I also like the pose of your subject.
TFS Michel

Very beautiful! Nice focus. Probably could have cropped a little more off the top but a very nice pic.

Beautiful capture, Mircea.
Well composed. Very good light...

This is a beautiful image Mircea even though it makes me very jealous. I'd love to see a snowy owl in the wild. I really like the pose with that one yellow eye checking you out. Exposure and sharpness are great.

Evelynn : )

Hello Mircea,
great shot, very good comopsition and point of view, excellent sharpness and depth of field, superb vivid colors and fantastic contrast, very good light and good details.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-02-20 16:28]

Hello Mircea, this is a fantastic shot of this beautiful owl. We can feel the wind in its feather, there is a quality of light too. It is a nice vertical composition with outstanding sharpness and a superb subject. Thank you!


fantastic capture.
great detail and light.
beautiful colors!

bonjour Mircea

superbe composition du harfang des neiges,
belle densité des couleurs, excellente netteté et détails,
excellent POV et cadrage et on dirait que le harfang
te fait un clin d'oeil, superbe, TFS


Hello Mircea
Stunning work on this, excellent POV and well framed, colours are beautiful, as is the detail, love the d.o.f with that soft background, really nice work all the best Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-02-20 19:43]

Hola Mircea.
Una exelente foto. Admirables colores y fina pose de este Buho Blanco. El fondo le da un realce mejor.
Saludos Mircea.

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-02-20 19:52]

Bonjour Mircea,

Une autre jolie photo du harfang, cette fois-ci tu n'étais pas très loin du sujet. D'excellents détails dans le plumage et une belle pose que tu as capturée. Bien fait!


  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-02-20 22:15]

Buna Mircea,

Ai facut o fotografie foarte reusita a bufnitei. Imi place culoarea ochiului in combinatie cu penajul si cerul din fundal.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-02-21 1:25]

Hola amigo,
hermosa captura,
con plumaje estacional,
bello pov. y detalles,

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-02-22 6:01]

Hi Mircea,
Awesome bird!
Nicely composed!
Nice OOF BG!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-03-03 19:38]

Hello Mircea

A beauty!
Great job on this Snowy Owl.
The lighting is super,and you have captured the yellow eyes magnificently.
Very good exposure and contrast of the white plumage,it looks wonderful against the blue of the sky.
Excellent POV.

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