Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl – Arctic Magic

Snowy Owl illustrated by Ravenari


Arctic magic and symbolism, following opportunity, finding that your success fluctuates greatly in cycles, cyclical energy, a connection to the North and the North wind, spirituality, soaring through the cold times, polar magic, the sacredness of snow and Winter, a connection to popular culture and memes, sky and field, observation and knowing your environment, an appreciation of the cold, power and might, majesty, winter wisdom.

General Description:

Snowy owls are a large and powerful owl found in the tundra, salt grass and freshwater meadows, marshes, dunes and even urban environments within circumpolar regions in the Northern Hemisphere. During good seasons, excess populations can be found further south than usual. They prefer to live at sea level, or close to it. They are the largest bird found in the arctic, with a wingspan of 1.7 metres. Females are larger and more heavily marked than males. They are white birds, with brown/black spotting and barring. Their legs and feet are covered in feathers to protect them from the cold. They apprehend their environment via excellent eyesight, hearing, vocalisations and touch. They are migratory, but do not follow fixed migration patterns, being more nomadic in habit, preferring to follow the abundance of prey. They are diurnal, unlike many other owls. They are obligate carnivores, primarily consuming rodents, lagomorphs, seabirds and fish. Extra food can be stored. They are significant enough predators that they affect the populations of the animals they consume.

They are usually monogamous during the breeding season, though exceptions have been recorded. They have complex courtship displays, including aerial and ground displays that usually involve the offering of a lemming from male to female. They nest on the ground, scraping out a shallow bowl that is not lined. Chicks are brooded until they leave the nest. The male brings food to the nest. Both will defend the nest by diving predators. Outside of the breeding season, they are solitary and territorial, and will defend their territories through physical posturing and vocalisations. They are predated upon by foxes, jaegers, dogs, wolves and other raptors. They are hunted by humans for food, trophies and to prevent them hunting other game animals. They can be additionally harmed by encounters with human environment, in the form of collisions with aircraft and vehicles, entanglement in fishing gear and even persecution. To the Oglala Lakota, the snowy owl represents the North and the North wind. They have been represented in popular media (Hedwig in Harry Potter is a snowy owl), and have even been popularised in the O RLY? Internet meme.