The “Snowy” has held a place in the minds of men from prehistoric times. On a cave wall, in the Dardogne region of France, there exists a painting of a family of Snowy Owls, presumably painted by Paleolithic man. This is thought to be the earliest representation of bird by man. Perhaps this speaks to the mystical effect seeing this large white bird has on people. No wonder the Snowy Owl is near the top of many “birder’s” lists.
With an average height of 23” and a wingspan of up to 60”, the Snowy Owl is one of the world’s largest and powerful owls. The Snowy Owl feeds mainly on lemmings and mice but will also eat ptarmigan, geese, carrion and the occasional fish when it’s usual prey is tough to come by. Their habitat is mainly in the artic circle however they will migrate south in years when the lemming population is low. The birds normally nest on the ground but have also been known to nest on the lower slopes of mountains in Alaska and Norway.
I became inspired to do an owl painting when I heard two Barred Owls calling to each other outside my house late one night. I chose to paint the Snowy Owl because of its mystique and its beautiful white color.